Frank Bana

Lands Ii - Poem by Frank Bana

I was riding the track to your mother’s lands
And the donkey was growing tired
I came to a camp by the falling day
And sat by the fireside

The black pot was cooking between the smoke
And the men were collecting wood
The split of the branches called into the night
As the women bent over the food

I asked what it was they stirred in the pot
That drew the little dogs so near
The meat was left over from a wedding feast
The corn was brought in by the bride that year

They said, our daughters have left the land
Our children are scarcer than rain
The youngest is married to an Englishman
(And that life seemed so near again)

The lands were empty when I came next day
Your boy and your brother were gone
I drank from the gourds and lit the lamp
And waited for you and the dawn

I woke to the sound of a 4-wheel drive
Pulling a harvester along the track
So I took to the donkey and left you a note
Wondering if we would ever come back.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 6, 2006

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