Ndaje! (I am coming!)

There are times you feel
Your name is being called
By the silence between syllables
Like taking a breath
After every sound
To echo the wind
Like a faraway song
That reminds you of home
You recognize your name
And the voice is familiar
But you cannot hear it if you speak
But silence is created between sounds
So you speak softly
Then breathe and listen
Then speak softly again
And listen
Your name is being called
By the wind
You hear it
You want to call out :
Ndaje!
I am coming!
But you know that if you start running
Like a child going home
Nk’umwana ujya iwabo
You’ll soon be out of breath
Then you can’t catch the silence
For the ringing in your ears
Will drown out your name
So you keep calm and start
Into a monotonous song
Ndaje, Ndaje!
I am coming
With a pinch in your heart
Growing quickly into a punch
But you do not budge
You sit and listen
Because you know.
You know the sound of home
Is sweeter than the sight
You know the smell of home
Is sweeter than the taste
You know.
And still you listen.
Between the syllables
Hoping to hear your name.

-Mpinga-

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