reaches out for me as we stood waiting in the village
grabbed my hand, turning the fingertips white
and I knew that I was caught
finally, she was pulled away
we walked together out of the village, avoiding the crabby cows
I led singing
as I held the pictures, she reached up a hand for me, toothless gums bared in a precious smile
I grinned back and took her hand
she toddled over, staggering precociously
clutched my skirt, tugging it dangerously
sent her back to her sister
I felt a little chubby weight hit my skirt, pulling it.
I look down, and she’s wrapped around one of my legs, clutching my skirt in her chubby fists, smiling and smiling.
she loves me.
adoration in her eyes
Mary comes over and peels her off me
she stares into Mary’s eyes, mesmerized by the blue, and we’re able to get her off.
time for prayer.
Mr. Clawson stands before the children.
all of a sudden, a rumble of rocks and hooves.
great hulking bodies in the sunlight, muscles quivering with every collision
jarring, hitting eachother
a white bull, triumphant, the black one lying down submissively, being shoved
over and over and over again.
men yelling in dismay
throwing sticks and rocks.
cursing at their animals stupidity
the lowing of the cows, like a crowd at a game.
The white one trots off finally, horns held high.
Is the black one hurt?
It still lies silently.
The men push it, it stands.
Neck lowered, it walks off slowly.
We herd the kids back to the tree.
we walk back through the overflowing culvert
stop and savour the icy water, grinning at each other
the public pool is open
brown bodies gleam in the murky water
we watch enviously – no bilharsia for us.
back home. Teatime.