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Zimbabwe Sunset
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Ken Orford

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Two men, one black and one white are sitting on a verandah, watching the sun set. The sound of cicadas is all around.
George You know Mikaya, I defy anyone to show me a finer view – anywhere in the world – than this.
Mikaya My father always said that if anyone doubted there was a God, and a perfect creation, then they should stand here at sunset.
George Your father was not only a good man, but he was a wise one too. I just wonder how many more of these sunsets I’ll get to see.
Mikaya My brother in law called me today. He said that if they do not come tomorrow, then it will be the next day.
George nods and walks to the small refrigerator. He gets out two beers and throws one to Mikaya.
George In that case, I am really glad I sent Mary and the girls to Cape Town. It wasn’t a moment too soon.
They sip their beers each deep in his own thoughts.
George It took my great great grandfather all his life to carve this farm out of the scrubland that it once was. He drilled wells, planted crops – more often than not they failed in the early days. He must have been a stubborn old bastard.
He takes a swig of his beer

But all that time, he gave the locals jobs, and paid them a fair wage for their labours.
Mikaya When I was small my grandfather told me about watching his grandfather working on drilling that first well. He swore that clean water is why we all live so long here.
George That and the clinic that my grandfather sponsored, and your grandfather built. 
Mikaya Yes, we have been foremen here for four generations now. And tomorrow it will be over. The Xanu PF bully boys will come and take the livestock, and give the land to the Africans. Providing of course they belong to the right tribe …
George … and have the right political views.
They sip their beers again
Mikaya What will you do boss? I’d hate to think my eldest son will never see his Godfather again.
George Oh I’ll be okay. They’ll take everything they can, but I’m sure they’ll let me leave. After all, it’ll be one less white man for them to worry about. It’s just history … Hitler, Milosovitch – it’s ethnic cleansing. Mixed in with a bit of racism. But I’m more worried about you. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans like you are starving
Mikaya Yes. But this is my country. I will stay.
George laughs a humourless laugh
George It’s my country too. I was born here. The last three generations of Formby’s have been born here. I don’t know any other home.
Mikaya nods his agreement
Mikaya You know George, there’s only one thing missing from this country
George What’s that
Mikaya There’s no bloody oil here. If there was oil like in Kuwait or Saudi, then George Bush’s tanks and the SAS would be over there now, defending that gate from Mugabe’s lunatics.


© Ken Orford, 2008



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