Goodbye Mbale

Goodbye Mbale
to the hill hacked out on the air
maize carrots bananas cassava and Irish
goodbye sleepy Mbale
to the hurtle of supermarket pharmacy and bus park
to a school of 3,000 children drifting up
wherever the tide may bring them in
to the eddy and whirl of a country town
lazily, almost fancifully held
in the drowsy haze of an African afternoon
as generations tumble around their roots
en route to family riches in a poverty-stricken present
or to an acquisitive future in a middle-income land . . .
dream-busy Mbale, spare me a thought at my going.

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