The Night Runner

 

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He knew they knew who he was

When the sun crawled to bed in the west

When the last kerosene lamp had been blown out

And the rest of the village had gone to sleep

When the village paths got so lonely

When trees looked scary, and tree stumps looked like squatting humans

Relieving their bowels in the bushes like savages

And when the only creatures visible were the fireflies

Still he didn’t care

Just went on running in the dead of the night

You’ll think he’s being chased by demons

Sometimes could be seen by the river, an ember in his hand

Or just swinging on tree branches like a colobus monkey

Or throwing pebbles in people’s houses just for fun

It was whispered that he picked the stones from fresh graves

He also danced with the leopard, so it was said

And how as kids we held our breaths at the mention of the night runner

No one knew what made him do it

Maybe even he himself didn’t know what made him do it

Poor man, but we had ladies too

Living as night runners

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