Monday, August 10, 2015

African Child

Botswana, 1978

The first sight of the aloes
reminded me of Israel,
and the first thought of Israel
of a desert and a war.

It is curious the way
experiences fester.

There were no harvests gathered,
no banks were overflowing;
only the barest scrubland
and groups of naked children.

The lightest touch of poetry
would have undermined this starkness.

Their money is called “Pula”
(by those who can afford it).
“Pula” - a Setswana word
meaning simply “may it rain”.

Only the poorest people
can spend wishes that freely.

From "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013

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