Women left their cooking fires and laundry
They gathered and gathered until two dozen of us
were clapping, stomping, singing, laughing.
We were 4th of July sparklers in Ugandan sunshine.
I grabbed a dark eyed toddler and whirled.
The modest young women thrilled at my double jointed hips--
Oh so old and moving so young!
Frenchie shake your bootie shake your bootie! they cried.
Finally we collapsed and feasted.
Friends came from afar, bringing memory gifts.
Then a van lurched to us.
Godfrey, Patrick, and fatherly John poured out.
Leave, leave! cried John. Now!
No more goodbyes!
Oh your tears and goodbyes will make us late!
So I left,
not all goodbyes said,
not all tears shed,
rushing for Entebbe through smoky air.
Kathy French has been a lover of words and rhythms all of her life, so reading and writing poetry comes naturally. Recently she retired after many years of teaching and raising children. She has spent time in Uganda, the source of these poems. Kathy roams the Western states finding great satisfaction in her adventures with people, animals, and the wilderness.