a memory

Her small voice echoes in my head.
How incongruous.
How can such a small sound be loaded with such weight?

Her voice would not be so loud were we speaking face to face.
Sipping tea under the neem trees just like we used to...the branches sway and unsway in the hot wind of summer. 365 days of summer. We sat and we talked and drank like the English did, only stopping to chase the dogs away or give the workers more instructions. We felt like memsahibs in those days. Rather reluctant memsahibs, for we had done nothing more than been born white.

We can't speak face to face anymore.
Nolonger. No more tea and glucose biscuits passed under the shade of the swaying branches. The neem berries fell on our heads in those days. Great wet balls of fruity seeds fell from the sky. They startled us and made us spill our tea. Milky brown liquid dripping from surprised fingers and staining skirts.

Americans don't drink tea in the social way they should. They also do not know what tangawizi is. That is their tragedy.

Its like finding a needle in stack of straw; only when you are not searching for it will you find it.
Without warning.

The smell of wood smoke and cow grease filled the air as we drank. Chai? Ejok.

She is whispering to me across many miles. Her voice is carried a great distance and I cannot shut my ear to the sound. The sound is heavy; laden with all that she is.
Memory is merciless.


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