By Doreen Nzeyimana

In the midst of a desert
There stood a very tall and fragrant tree called “Mugombo”
Mugombo was as strong as a sailing ship in the middle of the ocean and
Home to many birds, as many as the grains of golden sand surrounding it.
The birds chant happily for they have a habitat in which
To build their nests and lay their eggs
For procreation of their young.
You see in the way they flap their wings high in the sky
As they flew lightless in the easy wind and flaked down.
Mugombo gave them a home, hope and purpose.

One day, a whistling wind came and Mugombo fluttered and danced in it’s breeze
The wind blew strong over the desert like a flash upon the inward eye
Just like the grimy scraps burnt out in the end of smoky days,
It lifted the desert sand into thin air like broken blinds and chimney pots.
The wind was so strong it broke Mugombo so it danced with the daffodils.
What a tragedy it was for the birds, as the lonely carb-horse steams and stamps.
All the years they spent building nests were in vain as palm trees swayed in the night
Their unhatched eggs scattered and scrambled, like waves breaking on the shore,
They were forced to fly homeless through seasons without weather
The birds had no idea where they were going, like newspapers lost in vacant lots.

They lost hope, a home, and purpose
In the spice of oaken casks and burrows of moss.
The whistling wind washed away their lives
Like ocean tides so black no sky would squeak through.
Nothing could keep Mugombo from breaking
As the kick unseen
Or brushed by a car
And those dreams and hope
Come crashing like a cleft in your chin
Instead of your feet.

5 April, 2023