When in the East the rising sun
Throws out the first weak ray
To light the sky still black with night,
The promise of a day,
The woman wakes and lights her fire
Heats water for the tea
To give her man before he leaves,
Her baby on her knee.
The sun comes up and drives away
The shadows of the night,
The laughing dove spreads merriment,
The drongo mobs the kite,
The woman lifts her big black pot
And takes the river track
To fill it, brimming water,
Her baby on her back.
The sun climbs high, the burning heat
Shimmers across the sand,
The lizard, still upon his rock
Looks out across his land,
The woman tucks a snow white cloth
Around the tea and bread,
Walks out to where her husband works
The basket on her head.
And later when the sun begins
To sink down from above,
And children running home from school
Add laughter to the dove’s,
The woman gathers wood she’s found
And lifts it to her head,
And barefoot ‘cross the brown, dry grass
She walks with graceful tread.
The sun dies down midst golden fire,
The shadows flooding back,
The leopard and the jackal rise
And walk the moonlit track.
The woman stirs her cooking pot
Sits watching tenderly
Her husband in the firelight
Their baby on his knee.
Snapshots of rural Zimbabwe