Dry Season in Eremon - Edith Faalong

I have seen the dry season in Eremon.
The shea and dadawa trees: long, bare,
yet weighed, sacred, weary...

sighing from the secrets they carry,
secrets of want, need,
of several comings and goings.

Of bone deep chill and merciless cold
drifting through the few trees -
over lost rocks, rare bits of green,
over an earth blackened by fires
still crackling in the distance,
the sun shining with a vengeance
pushed on by our ignorance.

Cracked feet of mothers roam the dry earth
gathering wood, minding homes
infant noses bleed, lips crack.
Toughened hands beat the shea in processing.

Men sit under trees
empty pots of pito.

Half full calabashes to their lips,
heady scent of tobacco in the air,
their chatter getting louder.

Oh, I have seen the dry season.
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