The old man’s bed
Of straw caught a flame blow from overnight logs by harmattan’s
Incendiary breath. Defying his age and
Sickness he rose and steered himself
Smoke-blind to safety
A nimble rat appeared at the
Door of his hole looked quickly to left and right and scurried across the floor
To nearby farmland.
Even roaches that grim
Tenantry that nothing discourages
Fled their crevices that day on wings they only use in deadly haste.
Household gods alone
frozen in ritual black with blood of endless tribute festooned in feathers perished in the blazing pyre of that hut;