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Binayo Walks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Binayo walks
every day from four to ten,
carrying two yellow plastic jerry cans on her back like precious children
Muddy liquid gold seeps from the cracks,
evaporating in the Ethiopian dawn
like precious children dying

Binayo does not know how old she is, for she has never been to school;
but the red marks created on her bare coal-colored back
by the rough rope strap dangling a hundred pounds of life,
or the sores on her feet from walking miles
of hot, rocky sand dunes barefoot
can be counted approximately by the wise
But Binayo cannot count;
she is too busy walking to know how to

Binayo's life has always been traveled between the sand dunes,
between the trickling Arayo River
and the dry mud huts of the lost village of Konso,
Binayo must hurry between her sand dunes,
for she does not have all day;
her five children have to be washed of their grimy faces
the cattle has to be fed or else will turn into the desert's dust,
and her husband has to be given his beer
brewed with cassava from the water so rare

Binayo has walked since she was eight years old
and Binayo will walk 'til she is an old woman with a crooked back
Her mother has walked,
her grandmother has walked,
her daughter will walk
For in the village of Konso, a woman who does not walk
is no woman at all

Binayo knows that she will only ever reach
the diminishing Arayo River, the growing dirty children,
the dust-caked huts of Konso, and her beer-loving husband
(no matter how much she walks)
But still, Binayo walks, in search of her water
among the Ethiopian sand dunes

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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SaMiLoVe97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm
I adore this!!! Amazing work dear. Keep writing(: <3 Sami
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