I hear your hoe strike the late afternoon

through my book,

past the heat of an African day

the birds are moving, talking again

and I can't resist: I pick up that ancient tool

and bend to the curve of the earth; The soil turns fresh. Listen ...

my friend, my neighbor, my African brother,

there's an echo to your hoeing. We passed through Jalingo

at the same time, They gave you, your two wives, seven children,

a house

with two rooms

and a bit of land. They gave me six rooms

and land enough

for three bishopbirds

to raise their families. Then you asked for my land

to grow your crops

next to my garden And I said: Yes. It's not weeds that have pulled us out tonight But the equity of an African evening,

its cool joy.

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