POETRY

The Wheel Brace

By

Both men spat red dirt—the tractors' engines echoing off cypress
windbreaks smudged silver with heat; gears, shafts and star-wheels
turning circled motion into windrows. Dust steamed off the grass,
the earth alive with lizards and field mice darting beneath kestrels

locked to the sky. Distant thunder drummed its black murderous
roll, the tractors' diesel plumes flouting thick where both drivers
stopped—dead centre from opposite ends—the sky an ulcerous
cage of light. The next morning a constable was called. Mourners

stared into red earth, the blue sky drilled clean with a white sun.
Out in the field, an old baler ran jettisoning bales lashed taut
with twine, the tractor simply swerving over ground where the iron
bar had been found catching the sun where the men had fought.

Togara Muzanenhamo was born in Lusaka Zambia and brought up in Zimbabwe on his family's farm, 30 miles south of Harare. He studied Business Administration in France and The Netherlands. After his studies he returned to Zimbabwe where he became a journalist before moving to an institute dedicated to the development of African screenplays. In 2001 he went to England to pursue an M.A. in creative writing. Togara's poems have appeared in numerous magazines and journals. Spirit Brides, his debut collection, was published by Carcanet Press. He currently divides his time between writing and administrating the family business.

Both men spat red dirt—the tractors' engines echoing off cypress
windbreaks smudged silver with heat; gears, shafts and star-wheels
turning circled motion into windrows. Dust steamed off the grass,
the earth alive with lizards and field mice darting beneath kestrels