Our Future In Zaire

©1999 Cindy Duhe
She stands tall for her age
wise beyond her years
sweet smile
appled cheeks
and a chip that grows larger
on her shoulder.

So much possibilty
for this sweet, little youth
could be good
could be bad
but, with much bang,
whatever the case.

She lovingly greets people
at the door
but no stranger than she,
the enigma of kindergarten,
brightly shining
through her cool, dark skin.

Like molding clay
just waiting to be sculpted
into what fate brings her way,
ever hopeful
that her parents treat her right,
and turn her into the greatness
that is seen through my eyes;
little Zaire.

Old Mama

©1999 Cindy Duhe
strong with labour
the work in the fields
picking cotton
bent over for hours
at a time
when slavery was the staple
of the free world.

covered in calluses and blisters
lead onward
to the fields
walking miles
before the rooster's call
soles in the shallows of dirt
wallowing in mud
trickling blood into the soil.

that saw so much
babies brought alive
burning crosses at night
war and freedom
for those already free
changes that reverted to
the way things were
and, all the while, repetition
of the same life.

now shut
covering the time of the past
hiding it from 
the current sight
that will someday discover
what it meant to be her;
a hard working woman
living each day at a time
never taking for granted
though there was little to take
strong soul
heart of gold
story to be told.


©1999 Cindy Duhe
You promised me the world,
but gave me Lesotho,
a land that bares people with smiles
like Bengal tigers
roaming the plains freely
with the ease that respect brings.

You took me to a place
in your mind
where the mountains lie
between the valleys
crinked on your grandmother's forehead.

You showed me this country
that lives in a way
beneath the surface
so far out of the grasp
of the American dollar,
yet, happy, nonetheless.

You lived, grew tall, loved
this place 
with all that inhabited your heart,
the mountain goats and mice
running round in circles
under the sun.

You were my guide
in the place that seemed to suffer
misery under the toiling brush
and sweltering clay ground,
but taught me to love it,
as you had,
without anything modern 
in the way of this infatuation.

When my blonde locks wrestled with
the Lesotho winds
it was easy to see 
why the Boers wanted to win;
the same reason I had now seen,
as on the mountain tops, I stood,
hand in hand with my guide,
my friend,
the man who found me a new home.

Nappy Hair

©1999 Cindy Duhe
My friend had nappy hair
always braided and black and still
without kinks when relaxed
and with perpetual curls when left to its own
how curious, I was, about this.
Being only five in a world of long before
I had many things left to learn,
every chance I would get
to brush against her head
would be taken, as the thrill of my day.
When touched, it was course
on days left with wave,
oily, when straight to the touch,
so much was different from my long blonde hair
but no less beautiful, from my eyes
and my hands.
[click to view introduction]