The poem was read aloud outside Kwikspar in Vredehoek. People were rushing in and out of the shop, after work, then heading home to make supper. The poem hovered in the air because there was no wind. There was the sense of someone standing behind, a sense of someone not content with just the sound of the words, but leaning over and reading them from the pages. A pigeon flew down. The man selling The Big Issue smiled.
Johnny Telo the manager bought a copy of Africa! My Africa! to donate to Vredehoek Library.
Poetry has to do with depth-light-dark-lamentation-love, among other things. These all make up the potions that stir the human heart.
Memory of Memo in the dark
A vandal drained the oil,
And the electric transformer burst,
Plunging the whole township into darkness.
I sit in solitude in the room,
My mind reflecting on Memo,
Whose smile is as bright as the flame of the candle in front of me,
Wondering how the light would have bounced and reflected on her dimples.
Memo the shy but pretty girl,
Always smiling in silence and eyes cast down, each time I speak of my love.
‘Memo the little one my dear,
When shall I explore the heart enclosed by your little frame?
For how long shall I wait anxiously to shower you with the love overflowing in my heart?’
Takawira Dururu is one of 149 poets included in the anthology Africa! My Africa! He is a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and award-winning arts and entertainment journalist.
Photo by Don Pinnock