I spent most of my time in Pretoria when I wasn’t at school up a tree with a book.
The tree was above a small round swimming pool at the top of the garden; green and dark.
Sometimes a monkey would keep me company.
She would perch on my shoulder, pulling out the pins that kept my bun in place until my hair fell round my shoulders.
I hope she was looking for salt, not nits.
I remember the quick pat of her small black hands, wrinkled and old; and the stiff feel of her grey fur.
Her expression was cool, analytical; unjudging. She was who she was; I was me.
So there we were; swinging gently together
On the same branch
Of the same tree.