Red sand on the pavement
Tracing the minutes-old tire tracks
Each thread of it ending by her flip-flops
The one she stood in, as she stared
At the red hot mist, fuming on the edge
Of dawn’s strained clouds,
A mist coagulating into the morning sun.
It brought a memory of someone to her
A one buried under piles of old journals
And photo-albums filled with pictures
That had been smudged with nostalgic longing.
The someone had a face made of wanting,
Of nights spent conjuring impossible fates
Like a bud of rose
sprouting in her fallow gardens of discontent.
The smell of that face was Livid,
A mix of waste and engine oil and oil-paints
And cancelled returns across hate lines, painted
The Colour Love.
Her baby was cradled in her arms,
Lying across her chest
Like a breathing bruise mark, a growing scar
Of that remembered somebody.
And like all scars hurt when they throb in sharp weather
Her chest hurt,
The tears lining down her face beat on the sand,
Hitting a pattern, a note to that somebody.
A breeze swept the plain, linen gown she wore
Close around her thighs,
Ghostly fingers of it caress her,
Legs, arms, face, hair –
A thought thrown through the wind
From a million miles across time,
Answering back, jot for touch.
The school buses honk,
To chase the goats along
The goats dash into the hens
A storm of feathers – resentful clucking
Bleating retorts, black droppings from their asses
Horned heads lower to graze the street dump
Birds flitting between trees and power lines, hooting
Oil sizzling in the frying bowl,
Around cut pieces of yam, bean cake, potatoes
At the wood stall, a shout away;
And the sun donning its golden garments
Claiming its sky seat- the sceptre of heat drawn
Readying, to rule the morning.
The first order of day, make a note to somebody
A million and six feet down.