We March On (#134)

This is where I live!
our youngest tour guide
proudly gestures
to a 6 by 6 tin hut
viciously reflecting the African heat

Inside, a sun-beaten woman rests
against four ceramic jugs brimming
with water that’s almost fresh
carried from the well we passed
a mile and a half back.

We embark on a two-step tour
across the tiny space
where a dozen relatives sleep,
pausing at the single mattress
reserved for ouma,
eldest in the village at 52.

Her call for questions
reverberates in silence
against the camera hanging
from my neck, and the Cliff bar
peeking out of my pocket.

Our guide kisses his mom
before closing the door,
a relieved sigh slips
through my teeth,
we march on.

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