School holidays

Just after dawn
while the sun is still a red ball
and the ground mist rises
from the veld

we make a fire
and brew coffee
in a tin can with a wire handle.
Milk, sugar and Ricoffy,
stolen from the kitchen.

We squat in the dust
and warm our hands
at the embers
wait for it to boil.

The coffee tastes of smoke,
promises aardvark dens,
snake hunts, paper thorns,
stubbed toes and squabbles.

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2 Responses to “School holidays”


  1. 1 John Looker March 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I love the subdued excitement in these lines, Kalila. The poem is exquisite.

    • 2 Kalila March 11, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thank you John. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how simple pleasures were when we were small, and then a flash of a taste or a feeling, and a memory is there, waiting to be seen again.


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