Published!

Elephants

1972 Safari and Family Dynamics published in Under the Gum Tree.

Elephants

Uganda 1972

“Who’s got matches, anyone? Come on.” 

My brother and I look at each other then at Dad crouching over a meager pile of sticks. I shake my head, imaginary heat emanating from the flattened book of Hilton matches in my pocket.

The week before, I’d snatched the matches from the lobby after we’d landed in Entebbe from Lagos. When Mom and Dad disappeared into their room to freshen up for dinner, Eric and I had bounded up stairs ignoring an “Employees Only” sign to the hotel’s rooftop, seizing an opportunity to sneak a smoke. Lightning forked from a dark furl of clouds while we puffed and chattered about leaving at daybreak for Murchison Falls, the starting point of a three-week safari, our last family vacation before I left our expat home in Nigeria for another stab at college, this time in the States. 

Read more? The story is available for purchase here.

Ghats

1964 Discovering life in Kathmandu published in Clockhouse Volume 7, 2019

I’m racing down Kalimati Road heading for the bazaar, what we call downtown back in America. A chicken surprises itself and me by running into my bike’s front tire. A man yells over the chicken’s squawks, but I pump hard and don’t look back. My cycling has improved since moving to Kathmandu.

I swerve around a toddler at the road’s edge, swerve again to avoid a porter hunched under his bulging basket. Neck of steel, calves of iron, I write in my head. I’m thinking about my article due tomorrow for the school newspaper. The porter turns his head and spits a streak of betel juice, red flecks sticking to my sneaker.

Detouring through Himalaya Heights, the expat community where most families live, I’m on the lookout for one of my friends to go to town. When we first moved into Round House I complained, wanting to be in the American development. Now I like our house, which is circular and white and tall like a three-layer birthday cake. We live in half the cake, our apartment three floors top to bottom. Dad likes to joke how he can never corner my mother.

Read more? The story is available for purchase here.

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