Traveling light

November 9, 2020

I caught the gleam of her silver bracelet
as she stroked her son’s back in church
that Sunday the missionary came.
The gesture invited a burst of sunlight
that poured through the stained glass
and over our shoulders, down the aisles,
swam through our ribs to reach the world’s night side.

Imagine the miracle. Loving her son that instant
changes the plight of the ninth child
in the kibanda matope, the one the missionary
said was born blind and given the most meager
share of meal in preference to others
who needed more to live, but he comes to see
after all because someone was sent,
and the light is always looking.

(Kibanda matope is Swahili for mud hut.)