Beneath the moonlight, her secret stash
bespangles the rupasa in constellations of twenties and tens
freshly unfurled from reels like cigarette rolls,
some freed from beige G-cup bra probing her throbbing flesh
some from folds of her crimplene doek in paisley print.
Metallic taste of paper clips on my tongue, her percussion
enriched with tunes of our ancestry
my little fingers dancing to the chirping of crickets
as I bask in the warmth of our bond.
The mealies roasting over dying embers scent
the susurring breeze, and I turn them, or they’ll burn.
It’s been a long day in the gandiwa and
her matronly growls from the mukwakwa tree echo still
in the drought-stricken bani where we chase after her goats
and cultivate grains near the churu where our ancestors are buried.
She shoots a blank stare into the universe, as if she is no longer here,
her karmic contracts fulfilled, negotiating dates with Mudzungairi weshambo chena
who will usher her through when the time is ripe.
Riddled with sugar blindness, grandma purrs:
“Come closer and count my money where I can see you”
“But you can’t see, mbuya”
“These eyes can see what they want to see”
Also by this poet:
Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure is a bilingual author who grew up in Masvingo. She resides in Wales, usually writing about matters of the heart, the human condition, the migrant experience, womanhood and equality. She has published a poetry collection in chiKaranga – Zvadzugwa Musango, which she translated to English – Uprooted, a novel – Painting a
Mirage, and a collection of poems – Starfish Blossoms, which won the NAMA for Outstanding Poetry Book in 2023. Samantha has also compiled short story anthologies by Zimbabwean writers, Turquoise Dreams and Brilliance of Hope.