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First Night In Botswana
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First Night In Botswana

I push Radio Botswana
It spills a kindergarten song
From the villages, call and response,
Into the hotel room

A floor below, and down across the street
The band and beer, the discotheque

But I have a newer freedom to support
To touch the fire-spikes of redden flower
To breath the heavy perfume
Of the blossom-trees
To sleep away in the desert
Woken by the bark of baboons like angry men
To watch the heron and the kingfisher
Near the dam of Molepolole

Away from the carrion sound
Of bands and domestic dogs
Feasting on the meat of modernity:
Just a freedom of the carcass scraps
Wanted and denied for long.

The radio is guttural with the story
Of an ox left lonely in the kraal
And the bass sax from the floor below
Is out of tune with the one-string segaba
I wonder which music I like to hear
Writing to the calls and harmony
Of voices from the radio.

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