artwork: ralph murre
by Fiona Lovatt Davis
In the folds beneath his eyes,
glistening in the torch light,
there were tears (like silver).
He had coloured a horse black
and galloping across
where his mother and father live
and all his family and his camels.
He rode that steed at full pace
feeling, again, her gait beneath him
and he laughed at the idea of oranges
balanced on his head at such a speed.
This boy, they told me he was deaf,
found words for hooves and mane and tail
and the pound and beat of driving power
and gave us laughter in that darkened hour,
when his own eyes were moist in memory
of the distant ones he loves so much
and can recall but cannot touch.
~ first published in the Nigerian Sentinel