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Coffee and Pancake


Coffee and Pancake

She bends slowly forward

and hesitantly

brings her hand to

the aged wrinkled pan,

almost glowing from the heat

of the flames below.


It rests on three boulders

that her sons had spent a day

manoeuvring there.

She gently lifts the pancakes

and checks their readiness

for the next meal.


Her kitchen is sparse

and simple to draw.

I brush my pencil rapidly

over the paper, my eye

flowing along the outline

of her stooped body,


her light shawl

contrasting with the

blackness behind,

a coffee pot squatting

at an angle

on a rusting drum


beside a raffia basket

holding three loaves,

crusted with seed,

lightly touched in a faint

orange flamed glow.

A simpler scene.


But not the complexity

of two cultures contrasted.

An artist flies two thousand miles

to draw a woman

who must feed her family

over an open fire.


But when I show her

the finished work she smiles,

a deep lined, fractured tooth smile.

She has achieved a certain fame

in a world she knows little of

and resents not at all.  

Michael R Chapman
~ master of none ~
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