“1971 Viti Levu” by Ajna Singh

There’s a village in Fiji where the cattle roam free and the boys scamper about without shoes
The river runs long and the wells run deep and the Fiji parrotfinch sings the blues
A family of eight all in one hut warm themselves by the fire
Little brown hands crowd around the sparks as the black smoke ring rises higher
Their little muddy feet dance and prance as aprils warm rain descends
The sun rises over the sea and the waves attack the shore, sunsets and again they make amends
The youngest boy in the brown round hut is called “Baboo” for baby
His tummy sticks out under is stained white shirt, his hair sticks up like crazy
Baboo and his brothers bathe in the clear water of the stream
as fish swim past their legs they holler skip and scream
Baboo and his brothers brush their teeth with twigs from the twisted tree
They ride bareback on bounding mules racing towards the sea
Their laughter rings across the town
They’ve been lost but always found
Through the village streets they rome
Viti Levu will always be home
Baboo grew up and had a daughter and that daughter is me
No matter where life takes him now he’ll remember the twisted tree

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