Audacious lake flies rise in smoke columns, in the distance,
Across the shimmering grey lake like a wall, at cock crow.
On the shore, chilled waves step back and forth hesitantly
On the soaked sand, with tattered algae spread in patches.
Water hyacinths dance up and down on the deep waves;
On pilgrims to the shore to cuddle the sleeping canoes.
Bare footed fishermen inspect their mouldy nets calmly,
With an eye on the oozing flies assaulting the lake.
In worn-out colonial houses charcoal stoves come to life,
Babies coo and the naked fragrance of the lake finds its way into town.
Banana plants in the backyards are weighed down by heavy bunches;
The damp grasses beneath tickle their stems to create reluctant sways.
Off the narrow streets and the main road, rusty bicycles drag
On dusty roads and cough at the sight of potholes and bush paths.
Primary school children cross the roads in rackety flocks,
Some with leather shoes and white socks others bare footed.
Late cars dart with loud hooting through the main road,
Minds already in the airport to catch flights and welcome guests.
At the horizon of Lake Victoria, the waking sun stretches out its rays
In a bright burst of light pretending to shyly deem it its duty.
The volume is increased from notch to notch in the local market,
Bargaining warms up socially before it peaks to hostility at noon.
After silent intervals, white cars with yellow bases instantly usher
Out of the airport and on their way to Kampala to experience Uganda.
Olutayo Kadmiel Osunsan
Copyright © 2003