In the lull of midday

by Annette Snyckers

The first warmth of spring
sits comfortably on my shoulder,
the smell of pine and fynbos mingle
like a cocktail I would love to taste.
I am walking in the still plantation,
tree shadows fall in slanted spikes
across the sandy path.
The dogs run ahead,
turning dark, then bright,
into shadow, into light.
Dry twigs snap, a hadedah objects
and screeches up into the blue.

And then I hear it, somehow out of place –
in the languid lull of midday,
a rooster crows,
time hangs suspended in the trees
and I am small again, playing
under the fragrant mimosa —
there comes my ouma
with her long grey hair
in a plait down her back,
calling me in for lunch.

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