“Walking from Buwenge to Mawoito” by Natalie Lester

The red dust of the city fades.
The grey smoke of charcoal
stings my eyes.
The voices of street vendors calling out
dwindles as I shoulder my pack,
fixing my gaze on the road before me.

The sun slips and hangs low in the sky,
prodding me onward, step by step,
as dreams flicker and pull at my eyelids.
The cicadas chorus begins, as town
turns to village, and the songs of the wind
pass through the sugarcane stalks.

At the edge of the sky
a lost dream comes back,
beating its wings beyond the fire.

The many faces of day
ache in my hands,
voices echoing in the dust
become a refrain,
a strange song that enters my blood
and sings through me.

The fields began to shimmer
like a veil through my hands,
my feet light, and the whole world gossamer.
Time, for one moment, becomes still
and rests in me completely.

I watch the tide of bright faces
turning to handfuls of dust,
scattered words descending to quiet.
The burden of confusion lifting,
like a new wing opening its face
between my shoulder blades.


“Walking from Buwenge to Mawoito” was previously published by Spirit Fire Review


Natalie Lester is a poet currently living in Ithaca, NY. Some of her other work has appeared in Spirit Fire Review, Poetic Sun, and Eucalyptus & Rose