I sit in our shanty and wait for Saida to return.
She has been gone for a while now and am beginning to worry.
Have they caught her too?
Has she got the food?
Is she coming?
It was her turn to fetch food as I watched over our child.
Biko is now three.
If I add two to his age then am able to know how long we have been in these streets.
This is how Saida taught me.
I have to keep Biko as close as I can;
It would ease an escape in case of attack.
You never know when they are coming, the street mobs and the askaris,
until they tear down your shanty.
At times the bastards just kidnapped or robbed in broad daylight.
Who do you run to now?
It ain’t our wish that we live here.
It’s just that we are in the city without a home having found HOME unbearable.
I know she is now at a dustbin, torso immersed scavenging for a leftover.
Or perhaps at a car park begging at onlookers in their cars.
She will be lucky if they dropped a coin or a snack in her hand,
Much better if she met a
female tourist who are more generous.
All these she does on toes for she looks out for the grabbers.
I don’t like their stares and how they waft their noses at us as if we are rubbish.
We are you.
Aren’t we the same kids that played in your yard?
Didn’t we school together?
Well life has changed.
The change has thus made us so.
But can’t we return?
To the comfort and love we once knew?
I tell her it may be just us two; in this big city,
with so many people,with a soul.