This Bole Morning

Being in a new environment can make you feel very alert. Everything is different- e.g. language, city layout, vehicles, people, and you.  I wrote this on the anniversary of my first week in Ethiopia.

This Bole morning I am awake- unlike yesterday-

and walking and wondering

if I should shade my eyes with

glasses made of plastic.

Sun beams are reaching in and

Making them


Not yet wise enough for crows’ feet;

Wouldn’t wear them well

at this age

but I’m getting there.

Also getting a few “hi”s,

One “How is Addis?”,

One “how are you?”

From young taxi driver lips

over the white roof of otherwise blue car.

His words faint to these ears,

sensitive to nighttime sounds

but ignorant to daytime Amharic.

But this is English.

So I say “Fine”

I’m fine I’m

Fine and almost knock paths with man coming my way

Gotta watch where I’m going and

Respond faster

They already know you speak


So come out with it already.

This Bole Morning

I am bright in

Orange and red and black and white

and black tights

I am a sight.

Get a “hey cutie” –

or “beauty”

or something

from truck driving by

But this is a curvy road…

Keep eyes straight this time.

Guess I should stop thinking about blending in

Should really know by now


That will never happen.

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