Famona Nights

When I was a child
I lay in sheets made from cotton grown in African fields
Taking slugs of ice blocked water from an aluminium jug
Placed next to my bed
slaking of the thirst of a hot Savannah night.
I sneaked out of the door and over the wall swimming in the pool of a neighbour while they sailed away to Lalaland blissfully unaware of the dark Labrador and the ten year old child Lurking in the shadows of their palm fringed garden.
Away to the coke factory we ran
in gay abandon, Lynne, Ann and I nighties brushing against the wet grass to nick drinks off the van.
Avoiding a bath or hair wash every night I went to bed smelling like a rat
Except on Fridays when gentle sweet Rosen coerced me into the tub promising a trip to ma grocers for yellow apricot sweets and pink marshmallow fish.
I saw the stars through the blossoms of the jacaranda trees
and watched the cars going up and down the Matopos Road
Imagination running away with me
Sleep the furthest thing from my mind.
I tuned into Radio Lorenzo Marques
on the old valve wireless.
Dad coming in from the late shift
Hot bread and half cent donuts from Haefeli’s Bakery
Just us three – Nippy, Dad and me
Oh how happy child was I
and now I close the door to my Famona nights and remember them with absolute delight
for they were a special time
When Bulawayo was all mine.