4am greeted me. Guinea fowl and roosters screaming close by. 4am greeted me and wouldn’t let me sleep. Instead I laid in the darkness, picking out familiar sounds, fixating on unfamiliar ones outside my windows.

But the darkness and my closed lids were an exercise in futility and by 5 I’d turned on the lights and read beneath my mosquito netting. By 6:30 I emerged, heated water for oatmeal, and sat down to sulk.

Uncomfortable in our unyielding wooden chair, my gaze trailed out of the window to the low hanging mist thick, like smoke, in every direction. The morning was damp and cool. The sunlight filtered and gray. And I sat watching it.

Too early for the students that file past our house and disappear in the school behind us, few people milled around. There was the child clanking noisily at the pump, and the boy -heavy coat clad -walking down the tawny dirt road.

By 8 my eyelids were heavy. Beckoned by my bed I returned to the place, that only hours earlier, had rejected my sleepy advances. I crawled inside and lost myself to the soft sounds of morning and mef-perverse dreams.


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