Rat-tat-tat. A knock

On the window.

The girl looks no more than


Her request of my companion

Was simple:

"Can we be friends?"

The grin is contagious,

The girl is beaming,

My friend's heart swells.

"Sure," she says.

"What's your name?"

Abigail, Abigail, the song rings through

The hot Kumasi air

Thick with by-the-equator humidity

And disease-ridden mosquitoes.

The song is of her name,

The Ghanaian-British accent with which

She pronounces it;

Years of an oppressed nation of

Different ethnic groups,

Forced together under the

Common Forced Rule

Of the same nation

Which has oppressed

Countless others;

The fruitful and naturally resourceful

Continent on which she lives;

The ground on which she walks

Stained with the blood of

Countless others

Who walked the same path;

The children much like her

Whose faces lit up at the sight of another colleague's

Foreign dance

With similar roots to the dance that

Countless others

Had reused to the gods

Thousands of years prior to his improvisational


The clapping and cheering and shouts of support

From the strangers--


We had just met,

To the obruni

Dancing what his heart dictates;

The instant connection of spontaneous song and dance.

The hopeful eyes of Abigail that we'll

Buy one of the loaves of bread on her--



Head, precariously balanced though she walked


I bought a loaf for the bus to share,

Handing her one cedi.

(One piece of dirt-soaked paper for the

Sweat and work the girl had put into the breads' assembly.)

It tasted like challah, and I smiled,

Realising the day.




The same concept that

Countless others

Had aimed to find,

Instead staining their swords

With new Ghanaian-British accents

And their song of "Abigail."

ELT 20 Aug 2010 Friday