visit to Bandim market

The market was too thick, too dense,
so I contented myself to shop on the edges.
Panos de pente were lovely, but nothing
caught my eye – same traditional stuff.
At the far edge I saw something familiar:
stacks of bags of cabeceira!
The lady behind the table, hoping I’d spend
the whole 2K CFA, offered me velodu and faroba
and said I should mix the three.
Sounded reasonable. She gave me back 500 CFA.


How could I have paid more attention?
Too busy at work, mastering the craft –
too busy on the weekends partying
until the wee hours –
too busy traveling, south to Cacine,
north to Farim, west to Gabu…
too busy plotting a future perfect.
I should have known better –
I should have paid more attention.


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

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