• Lorraine Johnson

[93] Into Courage

It was a blanket of mystic and awe along the River Buzi—

its water embracing precariously those who travel, as me, along its deepness—and a boat filled with many—along with my then lover's hand—with some sitting on its unsure, narrow edge, as it slipped along the murky surface of the river's bed, deep in the land of nowhere.

Full of life down below—the river snake, the crocodile—

wide as long—it crept—with green overgrown land to the right

and to the left, as it pushed the over-crowded boat eastward

to the banks of the town of Búzi, and the village of Muchenesa, where the people danced Makhwayi—as lions—turning their times of hunger into courage for the new life. Where nothing is forgotten, and all put aside to follow the changing path from conflict to peace.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo, goes the rooster," they sang.

It was 1994, the land was Mozambique and there was hope.