The Other Side of the River - Emmanuel Sigauke

Growing up where I dream about
Was gritty, and the exhaustion is all
I remember when you talk

about celebrations of selves and nations
who harvested from the stampede.

No stampede, that I declare -
even the Olympian dreamer would purchase
his way out of it, even where it offered gold medals tenfold.

Growing up where I dream about now -
those scorching dawns
when on Mainini's back I lied
supposed to be napping.
I triggered birds off-balance
with my eyes' piercing curiosity -
when for her chores
Mainini had to carry me all day

while she scared birds off the millet heads-
the elders (my grandmother and her sons) were
at the big farm, already harvesting maize.

Growing up where I dream about now
remains the one line
that refuses to anchor my verses
as it sprints, chases sense to squash.
The crime? Those early days with Mainini
just vanished, wasted into memory's clogged donga.

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