A dusty road took me there, to a tin house, unmistakably shanty in appearance, it still had a certain appeal-standing out in the parched scrubland.
Its blushing red roof caught my attention.
There’s no one home now, the shutters are firmly closed and a deep silence rings through the rooftops.
Stillness lies on the soft dune-like earth, where once it bore unrefined food.
A shadowed porch is cool in the summer heat and I can almost hear the echo of Father’s tall tales and the reek of his tobacco.
The outhouse has run dry.
The hallway still remembers the laughter of children and the cockerel crowing in the backyard at dawn. There’s a chimney blackened with soot from an old woodstove.
We had so much time on our hands back then, Mother would peel potatoes to roast with a topside of beef and sip sherry at the kitchen table.
I reached into my memories and remembered when days were simple,
waters were sweet, and the sun sank into my cheeks with no regret.
No-one knew about global warming or ice caps melting then, the TV was black and white, and scratchy records played melodic tunes on the turntable.
The earth was still a wholesome place to live or so I thought as a naïve child.
I played barefoot in the garden, doing ballet on the front lawn
as my brother took snaps.
I watched tiny buds push their way up through the cracked ground
in celebration of a summer downpour.
I’ve reimagined my life that way again, a gaggle of hens
and a flock of ducks clucking away,
scratching the earth for tasty morsels,
pitching their story to me in the late afternoon,
finding a perch before the sun went down, my own little piece of paradise.
I’m ever hopeful of returning to the simple construct of an uncomplicated life, filled with home-grown vegetables, nourishment for the soul, both mental and physical-to a time when we exchanged pleasantries, perhaps even a little gossip with the neighbors and sometimes a cup of sugar or a few eggs.