28 May, 2005

Picking mangoes that are still green

Picking mangoes that are still green

We sat as adults
At tiny deep gouged desks
A rough unfinished classroom
Discussing development
And gender issues
Hussein waving and pointing
His pen
Trying to get the hang of it

In the sunshine I could hear
Stones landing on the iron roof
And laughter of spirited children
In the branches of the mango tree
The school ground a grove of mangoes

Hussein has photos in the hundreds
Burnt out vehicles slain bodies
Brutally burnt machete hacked Acholi
Torched huts ambushed trucks

In the sunshine
The children are running
Laughing skipping
As they pick green mangoes
Bite and spit the skin
Suck on the fruit

Hussein travels the
Danger zone the camps
The people in despair
Arranging schooling
For scattered children
In shock from dislocated villages
And this one

And the little school
In Pajule
That I remember
For its swarm
Of ragged barefoot children
The large smiles
When everyone wanted
To get on camera
Fallen silent now
As dead mangoes drop
Unwanted to the grass
And Hussein arranges exams
That may keep some of them
At school of some sort somewhere
For a little longer

Willy Bach © 2002


Post a Comment

<< Home