Africa Unfinished

Zula Girl
Zula Girl

Zulu Girl Age 10

Afraid is something I can talk
about, she said, her eyes wide
in the dark of her young face.
I was afraid my mother would die
because she took care of us and she
was my mother. She died in spring.
I was afraid my father would die
and it would be only me and my little
brother. He died the next winter.
Now I am afraid when I hear animals
at night. There’s a leopard here.
I’m afraid when I hear men’s
voices drunk outside, even baby girls
are not safe here. I use different
voices and rattle things to make
them think we are not alone.
I am afraid when I have no candles
left, night comes so soon. I am afraid
when our meal is running out,
I know I will have to teach my little brother
to steal. I am afraid I cannot get
to the school when it rains, and
then there is no hope. Afraid
is something I can talk about.

Please visit the web sites below where credit is due:

The Africa Project

– By Peggy Goetz, from “Africa Unfinished”

Thanks to Megan MacDonald for her wonderful writings:

There She Goes