Another International Women’s Day beckons with the theme Make it Happen. Each year I wonder about the women who inspired this poem and these girls from Queen Salote College. Where are you now?
International Women’s Day
Women’s voices drift above the palms
across the edge of night, colouring
the Tongan morning with holy songs
a benediction for the waking world.
Filtering through western latitudes
into coffee shops brimming with chatter
the day passes in the telling of stories
the night throbs with the dancing
and stomping of women till the darkness
is full of the sound of breaking glass.
The women who first blessed the day
sit in the glow of the new morning
gouging at coconuts, the white flesh
Falling into a pile of soft wafers.
(In between the dancing)