Poem: Cast Iron Sunset

Image description: In-colour image of child Ruby Bridges walking down the steps at a school. Ruby Bridges was six years old when she became the first African-American child to integrate a white Southern elementary school on November 14, 1960, escorted to class by her mother and U.S. marshals due to violent mobs. Bridges' bravery paved the way for continued Civil Rights action and she's shared her story with future generations in educational forums.

This month's reader submission comes from 17 year old Abiola-Awe Oluwatise from Lagos, Nigeria.


The long walks from the school yard were always as tiring as they were refreshing.
Something about my steadied constant pace always made me feel in sync with the rhythm of
the universe, that is, if it has one.
The monotonous outflow of water from underneath the gate of Mummy Chi Chi’s house,
wetting the green blades of grass of the weeds a few steps away every single day I walk past
like clockwork,
The eager flicker of the dirty orange street lights rebirth at the smell of night,
The mute laughter of children on the street both on rolling tires and playing soccer with mud
covered feet always radiated happiness to my easing soul.
The occasional murky puddles of leftover rain water deposited in pot holes that I’d carelessly
step into, soaking my old black leather shoes, staining my wine coloured pants and the
satisfaction of not caring because it was the end of the day.
I always looked forward to seeing the nameless elderly couple sitting on their bright blue
plastic chairs in front of their house, having soundless conversations, thinking perhaps one
day, I’ll ask them the secret to love,
Thinking perhaps one day, the purple sunset that serenaded my eyes each day would stay
forever and I wouldn’t have to go home.
Thinking perhaps one day, I’d be allowed to go to school.