Bernard Farai Matambo

It Came to Pass

Midday Saturday they flocked up the knoll, their staffs in hand. We lit a jealous rumor
and warmed our palms over it. We thought them a squad of blind men; the cunning
flame would engulf them. It was not a large crowd, the bitter cold not extreme. On the
rock, the gray heads cramped together and removed their shoes in reverence. The
medicine woman shook. This one would save us, the flesh of our ribs. We watched her
lungs levitate, her tongue flail about loosely, troubled by its dreams. She turned the
whites of her eyes and summoned for a goat, a bone-white chicken. Then she
summoned a bull and they brought her a paddock full of cattle. How distant the
spectacle seemed, when she raised her hands to pray. We had missed again the bellied
truth in the orphan girl’s yellow eyes.

Bernard Farai Matambo is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College. He was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and received his MFA from Brown University.