I could predict, almost to that very minute
When mothers would begin calling their children
Kofi! Ama! Kojo! Esi! Kwame!
Of course, the sweetness of play encouraged boys to ignore these calls
But one by one, they would disappear as play began its slow death.
I could predict because it was almost always at the same time
When the pestle and mortar began their fufu dance
When pots and pans chimed as they struck the ground
When ladles swam across hot pots of groundnut soup.
I could predict because this was right after
The sun had settled but not comfortably still
And bats were eagerly flying to wherever in their thousands
When the coops were quiet because the roosters had began dozing
And the young shepherds trailed the last sheep and the excitable goats.
Such were the times when nights fell on playing children.
Night Falls on Children Playing - Kofi A. Amoako
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