Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Naming of a Child - Togara Muzanenhamo

It began with a leisured cycle of turning strokes,
every breath drawing on syllables, her name dug
from each jab stirring the brown muddy water.
An upward glance took in bare skies, corncrakes
weak on the wing, the slow light of dusk – slug
-silver. Stroke after stroke, warm turns of water
rippled back to quiet mud banks where plover
struck short banded wings to taste the inverted sky.
The sun fell bald with thoughts of our daughter
swimming deep in your womb, arms turning over
with mine till depth drew me to stop and look up
and hear nothing but starlight crowning the sky.
There, in the music, she was named, deep in the cup
of the burnt valley where sound worships water
and flows into the cradle of every villager’s arm,
the sweet consistency of life, expectant and warm.

Togara Muzanenhamo (born 1975) Zimbabwe
Togara Muzanenhamo was winner of Friends of the Earth's poem of the month in April 2013
The Lake where this poem was born

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