Cookie's Bliss Kumasi

When in Ghana

I live in Ghana now
I drink cocoa in the morning
I wear a thick gold ring
I sit on a wooden chair
At a wooden table
I eat plantain and turn little red tomatoes into sauce
I wear a skirt and walk along dusty dirt roads
riddled with ravines
I step over plastic water sachets and piles of shit

I wake with the roosters
My underwear is crispy after hanging on the line
in the hot equatorial sun
My skin is brown, my feet calloused
I’ve worn socks four times
in as many months
I live in Ghana now

I don’t drink water from the tap
even when it runs clear
I wash dishes with cold water
I take cold showers and scrub my feet with a brush
When the electricity is on, I charge things up
I bring a flashlight with me when I go upstairs
to cook dinner
When the taps are dry, we use a bucket to wash
and flush
When the water and lights are both on I run loads of laundry
in our fancy washing machine

At 3pm the children spill out onto the streets to play
like I used to after school
I’m a white-haired obruni now
I carry vegetables on my back, waving at the kids
I admire the agama lizards and plantain eaters
I say hello and ask people “how are you?”
I try to be nice and fair and good
I live in Ghana now

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.