Tapiwa Mugabe

Africa, Zimbabwe

Across the neighbourhood
dust rose from synchronised sweeps.
The rhythmic sweeping of African straw brooms on soil creating a harmony of schwa, schwa, schwas.
Brown clouds filling the light summer evening with the taste of dirt in my mouth and
my nostrils filling up with the smell of home
(a fragrance I didn’t yet know I will one day hunger for).
I watched storks silhouetted on the slim pink sky as they flew to their nests and nestlings.
The lingering heat from blistering summer sun trapped in the walls of the house.
I stood against it with my back pressed into the red bricks. I enjoyed the warmth radiating,
jolting forward when the heat burnt my small bottom and back.
My palms opened against the wall.

Dreams flew past the canvas of my young mind.
Childhood joys flutter before my third eye. Wispy clouds on the horizon.
God has swept his floor’, we used to say.
High school geography taught me they were cirrus clouds.
Bird song from the mango trees.
A busy chorus of chirps.
A backdrop for children shouting goodbyes
and see you tomorrows to their friends from their doorsteps,
as moms hushed them off to bath and supper.
An African eventide, my favourite time of day.