Here She Walks...
Here she walks in the shade of solitary hills
by Frank Bana
Hair swaying, skin browned, cotton shirt upon her back
And sandals open to the dust, the camera hangs from her neck
And nestles on her breast. She frames
The silent frontier town that lies before her
With the living shutters of her eyes.
The crowds in the oasis know the name she's taken.
As one woman, child and man, they name her in their tongue
And with their gaze demand of her and whisper for each other
The reason for her smile, the playtime of her eyes -
A distant lover, transported? Or a letter
Delivered by mysterious means, unseen hands?
For she is smiling in the solid arms
Of her freedom at each step increasing. No man
Can raise his hand against her, not in rage
Nor with premeditation. No father now
Can make a servitude for her, no mother
Can turn away her face and and close her heart.
The sun freckles her arms and when it rains
The drops beat languidly upon her roof.
The watchman fans the embers of his jiko
To warn the jealous spouse beyond the gates.
The parokeet has learned to serenade the sunrise
And squarks the phraseology of love.
Witless or wise as she may be, the bird talks for me.
Like a young child, ready to show her kindest faces,
The future stands at the corner of the dawn
To beckon her to many of these pathways
To make each day more precious than the rain.