The path wraps all the way around the bungalow and we earn prizes with every lap.
The patch of grass in the front feels like straw. It pokes and scratches.
I imagine Canadian grass, a pillow of green, damp with dew.Â
We have a banana tree on the side, in my childish simplicity my dreams consist of soon eating the fruit the tree will bear.
The pool in the back is gone now, overflowing with earth it became a garden. The rubber tree remains – but I donâ€™t climb it – gummy sap gobbed in my hair the only solution ?
Scissors – I learned my lesson.
I am woken every morning by the chorus of birds, their crescendo of celebration is thundering
I am finger painting on the porch today.
I have become the canvas
Thankfully the tan and black tiles wash clean
The next rainy season everything will wash clean – at least everything that doesnâ€™t wash away
Torrential downpour, the clouds clap angrily
Veins of light spread in light seconds across the sky
We have a black rod that serves like a sponge to soak up any excess electricity that may stray
God moves around the furniture a lot
I wonder if he is angry
We feast in the coolness of the dusk and dawn
It is chased away by the stifling heatÂ
Of the spotlight sun
Morning glory muffins bursting with plump raisins, cinnamon & all spice shaded with an umbrella
I canâ€™t stand them – but we have rules
Gag and swallow
orange juice in a glass pitcher
My thirst is never fully quenched
The smell of market day is ripe and pungent
I have snapshot memories of garbage, brightly coloured head cloths, green bachÃ©s pregnant with people and sinking with the weight.
I hear chickens and the humming of flies.
A fish eye stares at me – itâ€™s mouth gawking
Thereâ€™s an icecream man that comes down our street just on the other side of the green plastic gateÂ
His water isnâ€™t clean, so we donâ€™t get to have anyÂ
A lizard suns himself on a rock, he shifts left and right and darts into a crack
Maryuma is Fulani, her skin is rich umber, she is kindÂ
She helps around the house and no matter how hard I strain I cannot remember her faceÂ
Or the face of our guard Isaa – he did laps around the house tooÂ
I do remember the sadness
When I found out that some people had more and some people had less,Â
So I offered him some of my allowance –
He awkwardly declined.Â
Sadness swept in againÂ sitting in wicker furnitureÂ
The words settled
Moving from Mali.
Soft green grass?Â
I am met with familiar excitement
And the Unfamiliar
The day we leave I wait by the banana tree, hoping.
There is no fruit.