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morogoro, tanzania

Published on:
January 27, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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1999, a drought with a capital D
we prayed and prayed
for the rain to fall
but it didn't for days
that stretched into weeks
that stretched into months

 

and I lay there
on the ground with one ear
against the pounding
heat of the land
that was maybe the pounding
of my heart

 

sandpaper tongue
parchment lips
dry and cracked
like the earth where
life had come
to cease

 

and on tuesdays
he would come
with a wheelbarrow
rusty and
laden with the world
that creaking, crying wheelbarrow

 

searching
collecting then carrying
out a mound of skin and bones
children
who at least no longer felt
that thirst

 

and
eventually
his pain tore the skies back
and his tears became
our life as life began to spring up again and
that drought ended

 

but I can still hear the creaking
and the crying and see the
image that is seared, no,
scorched in my mind

forever
that tuesday wheelbarrow

Melanie Han
Melanie Han is an avid traveler and a poet who was born in Korea, grew up in East Africa, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing in Boston. During her free time, she can be found eating different ethnic foods, studying languages, or visiting new countries with her Canadian husband. You can connect with Melanie on Instagram (@melhan).

Cover image by Alessandro Desantis.

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