Rat-tat-tat. A knock
On the window.
The girl looks no more than
Her request of my companion
"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
The fruitful and naturally resourceful
Continent on which she lives;
The ground on which she walks
Stained with the blood of
Who walked the same path;
The children much like her
Whose faces lit up at the sight of another colleague's
With similar roots to the dance that
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
Had aimed to find,
Instead staining their swords
With new Ghanaian-British accents
And their song of "Abigail."
ELT 20 Aug 2010 Friday