Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bulawayo

(This poem won First Prize in Lupus International Poetry Competition 2011)

In the playground
we compare notes
to place ourselves.
Where you born then?
Watford. Harrow. London
English places.

I wait. Holding back.
Then I say it, rolling the vowel sounds
slowly on my tongue,
casual like.
Bul-a-way-o.
What? Where’s that?
Low key, shrug.
Africa.
Africa?
Wow. Then silence.
Staring at me.
No one can top that.

I walk off slowly, nonchalant like.
I don’t know what Bul-a-way-o is.
I know it’s in Africa.
They tell me nothing about it.
Too busy with the present,
to bother about that past time in Africa.

I don’t care, I’m different, special,
‘cos of Bul-a-way-o.
Its mine, my place,
I came from there.
No one else does, ever.

In the album, a black and white picture
of small me on some steps in a garden
and an ‘arm-a-dillo’, strange creature,
in Bul-a-way-o.

I like the name
Bul-a-way-o,
where I was born.
No one can top that.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

Well done.