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Tony Tcheka
“The Promised One”

Dóli alone
Djena with no-one
from the innocent romance
the dark tragedy

papa big man
got himself
a cow
a bag of flour
a cane drum
some tobacco leaves

the exchange

the promised one

the moon

hungry for love
bitter mouth doesn’t eat
thirsty for tenderness
dry throat rejects water
the tears swell
and roll
down the pale face

Djena seventeen rains
Djena a life to live
Djena the promised one
Djena today’s woman
is hungry
             doesn’t eat
is thirsty
doesn’t drink

woman’s body
inert like the silence
firm like the refusal
rests intact
in inviolable sleep

from Vozes Poéticas da Lusofonia [Poetic voices speaking in Portuguese]
b. 1951 Guiné-Bissau
© Instituto Camões, 2007