February 20, 2016 Ghana

This afternoon at Bolgatanga Market, Ghana


The everyday Bulga market

Bulges at the seams.

Pools of shade, 

Cast from the market umbrellas.

Shelter the sellers,

But not the loan Canadian

Or all the African shoppers.

Motor cycles and huge lories

Attempt to navigate

Our crowded path.

Pulled or pushed wagons,

Young men struggling to carry,

Enormous sacks of grain,

And the ever present,

Bowls balanced on heads.

Attempt to move the other way.

In the shady patches,

Turbaned women, 

In jarring colourful outfits 

And aprons,

Sell onions, tomatoes, greens,

Charcoal, tyvek bags,

Gourd bowls and tooth paste.

The animals;

Goats, cows, and pigs

Wander everywhere.

The stench of dried telapia,

A small black flattened fish,

Turns my obruni stomach.

Some women spend the day, 

Bent at the waist,

Sifting grain, rice, corn and millet.

Men operate a mechanized mill 

That churns and grinds.

Babies cry.

They are slid from backs 

To fronts and nursed.

Hawkers cajole me

To purchase yams.

Often I am flashed 

A glorious white smile,

That lights up the dark face.

The occasional old women

Dances in front of me,

Blocking my way and demanding money.

Experiencing the market,

Is a huge blessing or

An enormous challenge