Saturdays, Like This

By AFUA ANSONG

Praise this Saturday which permits me to wash with my hands (I detest this).
Praise my dirty clothes, the ones I leave for my grandmother who starts the cycle with cold soapy water.

Praise the rinse, the rush upstairs to the open roof. There, the clouds open as I hang and hide my American jeans from my neighbors who don’t even trust the wooden pins to work.

Praise Makola market, where the high-pitched chatter of women worn out by the heat of the day welcomes me. One by one, they bargain with a housewife who doesn’t have a cedi to spare.

Praise the adult crabs, corn dough, bag of fresh okra stuffed in her basket.

Praise the dirty road that floods my feet with biscuit wrappers. Praise the trotro only the poor will ride and the school girl squatting to eat kelewele by the road. She waves away flies.

Praise the conductor whose hands smell of coins. He tells me I am short 500 cedis, but winks at me, and settles too close beside me in the back seat of the van.

Praise the driver’s next stop, Asylum-Down. Our journey home, blocked by long lines of lorries with horns beeping in fury. Praise the cacophony, the pitiful moan of a Christmas goat.

 

Afua Ansong is a scholar and artist, currently working on a collection of poems about Adinkra symbols from Ghana, interacting with these symbols as modes of grief and artistic freedom. Her work can be seen or is forthcoming in Aquifer, Prairie Schooner, and Frontier, and on her website, afuansong.com.

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

Saturdays, Like This

Related Posts

Photograph of a door in a brick wall from Joost Markerink on Flickr

March 2020 Poetry Feature: Frances Richey

FRANCES RICHEY
Two good sized dogs with him. Princess and Baby. / When he brought them out they walked so close / together, they looked like one starving animal / with two heads. In the summer he left his door open. / It was dark in there, but I could see / roaches crawling on the walls.

Soldiers

February 2020 Poetry Feature: Victoria Kelly

VICTORIA KELLY
This is not a corsage or dinner party / kind of love; this is a hard love, / a mining rubies in Greenland kind / of love, out of rocks / uncovered by melting ice, the terrain sparse // and unexplored; there are no galas, no gazebos / here, no indolent lovers on sofas...

Excerpt from BATTLE DRESS

KAREN SKOLFIELD
Perhaps with a desk between, / some chaste space, the recruiter leaning / forward, warm bodies on the other side. / Of the teenagers present / one will lie about her age, / one will eat bananas to make weight, / one pull herself from small-town quicksand. / Lace the hands behind the head...