Walking Blind

Nairobi, 1978
Don't open your eyes until I tell you to open them, he said.

I squeezed my eyelids tight.

I have a surprise for you, he said.
He clasped my hand as we walked.
The crunching twigs beneath our feet
The scent of bougainvillea
Bazooka gum at the corner kiosk
The chatter of the passersby
My senses were heightened even though
He tried to distract me with the
Convoluted circle we walked.

Logs, branches came.
We veered off the main road
Ducked under a fence.

Then I heard it.

Humming, splashing, and gushing.
The scent of water lilies saturated the air.
Water drizzled on my arms.

Now! His voice echoed in the clearing.

I opened my eyes.
Before us was a waterfall
Water, like satin curtains dropped over rocks draped with moss.
Water, like the gates to heaven where sins were washed away.

I looked up at my brother. 
His arms were crossed, right hand cradling left elbow, left hand cradling right elbow.

He smiled.
Eyes as luminous as the light slating through the canopy of eucalyptus above.

How did you find this place? I whispered.

Mama Shujaa


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