Angel-Swing

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The center of the circle is round
like the sun shining in the East African sky

like the full moon shining over
banana trees in the half-light of the cool night.

Colorful door-curtains wave in the breeze
that blows through the center

into love and peace, breath and dancing—
ayo, amaari, sweet mother and tiny babe.

I sit in the center in the hammock that hangs
down, and I kick my feet against the floor

So that I fly up, swinging and singing,
as Grace watches me:

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna wipolo!
Malaicha gewero, hosanna wipolo!

I stretch out my arms like an angel
spreading her wings to fly—

I stretch out my arms like a lover
opening her arms to her beloved with joy.

I see the light shining on the fields
where the midwives planted g-nuts—

I see the mountains beyond the tall grasses
and the overshadowing, dark trees.

Grace! It’s so beautiful, my joy is full,
and my prayers will be answered

when you are well and strong
and your hour comes.

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna wipolo!
Malaicha gewero, hosanna wipolo!

I walk like a woman alone,
but the bird on the roof-top is with me

darting from the apex down under and inside
to a nest I cannot see.

A gentle breeze blows in the morning,
and the cassava leaves tremble.

I come to the road and turn
back, imagining the future, sweet Grace –

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna wipolo!
Malaicha gewero, hosanna wipolo!

Jane Beal
Atiak, Uganda

DSC00462

My beautiful friend Grace
recovering well from malaria 

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