Under The Mango Canopy
Sat on the doorstep of this sun-baked bungalow,
the blooming mango tree casts a welcome shade
as we bask under the hazy glow.
Small children burst with vibrancy in the sand,
Darting around a rusty plum-coloured jeep.
A rooster’s crow calls to the Africanis’s bark,
And the son of a nanny goat chases his mother:
Feeling frisky, she dismisses his impulsive pleas.
Undeterred, he clambers onto her, pounding.
My brother grimaces: “These animals have no brain!”
Here comes Ya Rawhie, the matriarch, big boss.
“Reer! I feed you dinner. Ganaar. Is it good?”
I give a wholesome thumbs up.
She gesticulates to Seehou, her grandson, and
In a stream of rapid chatter from a lost tongue
The meaning is revealed to me.
An endless moment. Chicken locks onto his gaze.
He darts forward. It squawks and flaps, and
Desperate for flight is swiftly pinned down –
Stomach to the ground in a vice-like grip.
Terrified and escorted to the outhouse,
Ya Rawhie’s smile carries a hint of normality
As she waves a deadly-looking machete in hand.
The son jumped off his mother’s back,
And nanny goat flees to the compound’s edge
Seemingly a little distressed.
Dinner will be ready soon: these are my people.