Short story 5

“Come lie with me and be my love
And we will go where white owls fly
And cry to the gods to bless our troth.

Come lie with me and be my love
That we might gently touch the hem
Of that great family of men

Within the garden of delight
Bewitch my sight with subtle spell
Enhance life’s fragrance with your smell.

Come lie with me and be my love
And let the white thoughts fly, and sigh,
But let the sensual touch not die

Come lie with me and trick my love.
All lovers little posies tell
To smooth the progress of the spell.

Come lie with me and be my love
And let the that inner truth eclipse
The passing comments of the day.

Come lie with me and be my love
And say those little things untrue
But let your precious self come through.

Your face
Your supple body I embrace
But past that shell which I can touch
I see the riches of your soul.
And would commune with who you are.
Although from far to me you do approach
And do from distant lands encroach,
Come lie with me and be my love.”
“Come lie with me and be my love
And we will go where white owls fly
And cry to the gods to bless our troth.

George, by improvising a poem to her he was trying to seduce Kin. It succeeded and they retired to the bedroom. Short of cash George had started playing sax with an African Pop group. A new backing singer was introduced. With swept back hair, a honey complexion, and smartly dressed, he took her for a New York sophisticate.

As he shook her hand, she quickly disabused him. “No I’m from Somalia.”

 “Where did you learn to speak such good English; at school?”

“No. The only thing I learnt at school was to recite the Koran by heart.”

They became great friends. Neither were very religious, but they argued about the Koran. Whenever George looked like winning the argument. She would wriggle out, “But that’s a bad translation!”

Kin was innately intelligent, so George took it upon himself to further her education. Already she was fluent in several languages, but at maths, she was hopeless. She did not want to learn ‘European’ history, but she quickly understood geography, especially maps. Playing his saxophone came quite naturally to her, and she learnt to read music, to the extent that he felt his place in the band, threatened. She danced like an angle; a black angel. He was enchanted.

Quickly their circle of friends grew. Kin decided she was going to cook them all a Somali meal. On the morning of the dinner party they went to the market; to the Moroccan stall, to purchase herbs and spices.

The two men behind the stall were chatting and laughing to each other. George could see Kin was getting angry. She broke into Arabic. Their demeanour changed and they could not do enough to serve her with almost servility.

As they walked away, George asked her, “What was that all about?”

“The ignorant buggers! They can’t even speak proper Arabic.”she said. “They said, ‘This is a strange couple. He’s the wrong colour to be her father and he’s too old to be her lover!’”

It was a great dinner party.  


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Thank you, Keith Beal