Emanuele 12-4-2017

12 April 1983

A morning of 34 years ago:

One day of heat and sun at Kuti
Like today.

…” I stood to look at him from the door.
Off he went in the light of the early morning …His shadow was long on the grass and the sun on his back streaked his hair with a golden halo. He was young and strong and handsome … and no longer mine.
He walked in long easy strides through the glory of the bushes in bloom, under the shade of the yellow fever trees, the snake tongs swinging at his waist.. Past the swimming pool towards the snake pit.
He went away, and he never turned back.”…

Today, 12 April 2017, I remember:

The grass was yellow and dry
my feet were bare
All night I walked to where
his tree now grows –
to encourage red eyed staff
taking turns digging his grave.

Wind whipped my long white skirt
My heart was close
To a pain too hard to bear
My eyes were dry
My jaw clenched in resolve:

I vowed to never leave Ol Ari Nyiro
To stand the ground
To be the guardian
Even as hyena gathered
Baying for blood for land
for rhino and ivory

Standing alone
My dog guarding behind me
My blond girl child asleep
in her close room
-the future-
I took a solitary oath:
the wind as witness
and the same stars looking at me remote
from that eternal sky:

Another tree amongst
Those two will be my tree.
My bones will for ever be Africa.
Up to that time I shall be here
The Watch.

I am that straight small tree
below the rainbow
his child hand painted a life time ago.

He knew.
I know.
I shall never let him down

With Bolero by Ravel
And my dog Ristol








This photo by Oria
12 April 1983
At the extreme right, my dog Gordon.


At Kuti

12 April 2017

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