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Magwinya woman by starrider

starrider | February 13th, 2013 | current issue, poetry | No Comments

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She wakes up before dawn. Mounts
her cardbox cubicle on the pavement
at a street corner. It is chilly and windy.

Without delay she pours cooking oil
into the aluminum container perched
on a three-legged stand under which
there are popping flames of fire.

In the yellow bowl she stirs the flour
with vigour. The fire is warming her up.
With her hands she squeezes the flour
into fist-sized lumps and drowns
them into the blistering oil.

Over a short space of time the blazing
oil turns the floury swellings into brown
round buns commonly known as magwinyas.
With her fork she pierces each baked brown
roll and shrugs it off into another vessel.

She yawns. The heat is soothing. It is coaxing.
She has to sell these chignons to eke out a living.
A single parent with four dependents. Like a thief
something sweeps her away. Siesta says sister let us go…

Her mouth is agape, there is a cascade of saliva
going down her chin, down where lies her vessel. The
sun’s rays are peeping. Her customers of school children
and factory workers halt and scream, “wow!”… and proceed.
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[tab id=2]
I am a published writer, former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, a writers’ association chairperson, an English lecturer, an international ESL and EFL teacher and tutor, book editor, conference producer and researcher, and more recently, a freelance journalist. In 2005, my nationally acclaimed book, Love O’clock was published. In 2006, I edited a poetry anthology, IT’S TIME… In 2007, I was in a team of young writers, editors/mentors on a British council project, Echoes of the Young. 2010 saw me contribute to an international edition -Poems for Haiti, a South African anthology.
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