A constellation of ancestors surrounds the smiling moon.

The sun cannot be trusted.
True, without her, maize withers,
She burns captive and free,
Sinks her teeth in fettered skin,
Leaves gravel on our tongues,
Fries us as we harvest cobs.

Thorn bushes cut my shins.

Onwards, the night is your friend.
We’ll show you the path travelled,
Hide you like the cobra beneath palm fonds,
The scorpion at the river’s fringes,
chicks beneath the mother hen;
you’re safe in our blankets.

Moor stones graze my knees.

Left at the hibiscus trail,
beneath the palm trees,
gather fruits, and eat.
Through the cobbled path,
tripping water downstream.
Stop. Quench your thirst.

Fear holds me in its steel embrace.

Those are our arms; keep moving;
Through the thicket,
At the river edge,
mind that scorpion.
You won’t drown; it’s waist-deep;
Slather on mud, blend with the barks.

My friend is losing power to my foe.

Stay in the mangrove’s shade,
It’s cool within its embrace.
Be careful,
the adder has the same plans.
You need your rest.

Adi’s crying fills my ears.

The past drowned in the river bed.
When the cricket chorus halts,
at the bitter leaf junction.
Freeborns aren’t born and lost to fetters.
Swallow your tears,
follow your friend.













Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash