2000 20.00 XORIYO

20.00 XORIYO

Xoriyo closes her eyes but can hear the lights, each one swishing air from her ears. She thought this moving had stopped, the truck, the coach, the airplane, the ship, the airplane, the minibus – then the quiet eyes open time in Wake Field – now another minibus, busy road, car lights, street lights, to Under Land not on a train to Chef Field, Burn Grieve, to stay with her jilib, even some of her qaraabo.

Lights. Lights. Lights no one ever seems to switch off. The light of the sky moving.

The minibus stops and the driver opens the back doors, the two smiling Zimbabweans get out, taking all the colour from the van but there is more space so Xoriyo sits next to her hunched up father, the window marked where he has rested his cheek.

Xoriyo peers past him to watch the Zimbabweans being shown into the doorway of a dark little house, shuffling in their bright shirts and white plastic flip flops. ¬†She imagines how cold they must be and snuggles into her father’s coat.