The colour was orange and rich tones of earth
Open plains and a lonely tree
A small village hut made of natural stuff.
The fireplace smoked
We made semolina in a big iron pot
Melodious songs of womanhood we sang
and danced and ran free.
We walked with grace and rhythm
Strong-bodied, curve-backed people of my kind
Where are you now?
The sky is clear, the weather warm
I am a solitary seven-year-old against this landscape
With smiling eyes in a mischevious face.
Tiny circles of African hair press close to my scalp.
My pink-soled, chocolate-coated body is wrapped in metres of burnt orange
And I move more freely than in suburban clothes.
Pride and playfulness affect my stance
And though I am a child alone, I am not fearful
For this is where I am myself
Although I have never visited Africa, for as long as I can remember I have held this vision. I wrote it down when I became fearful that I would forget. I know now that isn’t possible, leave one brain cell behind and erase the rest, this image will persist.