Daily Prompt: The Kraal


It was a meagre existence

Hand to mouth

And using every gift God gave and more.

The hens scratched around the kraal

For insects and grass seeds

That had blown in on the wind;

The pigs snuffled through the undergrowth

Nosing out the roots of the dry grasses

And wandering off into the bush

For better feeding.

The earth-built huts baked hard in the sun

And the tin roof cracked and creaked in the heat

Warping out of shape and

Letting in a whisper of air

To the baking heat below.

During the day, a board sufficed

To shut out the animals

But of an evening everything was opened.

The voices of adults and children rang out

Across the hillside

The fires were lit and cooking begun;

Water fetched in the plastic buckets

And the plants tended in the dying light.

For that is when,

In the coolness of the evening,

The kraal comes to life

When there is laughter and love

And bellies filled with a meagre

Helping of phutu with amasi

And maybe pumpkin.

And that is when

The meagre existence of  things

Can be a trial.

But only look up at the mountains

As night falls

And as the sun goes down,

At the stars sparkling in the heavens

Listen to

The companionship and song

Of family:

And sometimes just sometimes

The freedom of existence

In such a place

Makes up for meagre portions.

Poem and photo copyright Englepip©

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