Evatjie

She answers Ja Meneer, Nee Meneer,
averting her face toward the faintly purplish
hill shimmering on the horizon, beyond the borehole.
She seems timid now, but she’d soon take over;
he can tell by her steady eye and strong cheekbones,
not to mention lips girls would die for
in Denver or Dusseldorf.

He needs someone he can count on.

Ja Meneer.

Her single ornament is a carved wooden comb
nestling in the tight hair over her ear.
She’s outgrown her threadbare, faded blue shift,
probably the only garment she owns; it sharpens
the particulars of her muscled body like a processed photograph,
but not provocatively. Such primordial innocence
must be a gift from our Mother, unfallen,
or from the blue lady of Perelandra.
Her beauty will not waste with age
or hard work.

Has she references?

Nee Meneer.

For she’s a survivor, an exhibit. Her nomadic ancestors,
were shot as vermin by the guns of half-Teutonic basters
whose boreal features he discerns in her face and body,
whose adulterated tongue she speaks.

Six days a week, Sunday off.

Ja Meneer.

Tomorrow then? He has a room she can live in,
off the kitchen.

Ja Meneer.

He forgot to find out whether she’s married, or rather,
whether she lives with a man. No matter. She’s clean.
She’ll do to wash his clothes, roast his venison,
keep him in pap and coffee.

Oh, and bring his glass of lager on a tray
at sunset.

Miamisburg, Ohio, 2013