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Mildred Barya

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Mildred Barya

Mildred Barya is a Ugandan poet and fiction writer who has authored three poetry books: Give Me Room to Move My Feet (Amalion Publishing, 2009), The Price of Memory After the Tsunami (Mallory International, 2006), and Men Love Chocolates But They Don’t Say (Femrite Publications, 2002). She teaches creative writing at University of North Carolina Asheville and is a board member of African Writers Trust.

by this poet


We’ve turned our walks into finding things
that catch fire easily, like us
our fascination with bush craft—
how to survive in a forest
without the conveniences
we have at home
the first human to discover fire
rubbed two stones together
friction is a good thing.
we have


Lizards will on purpose sever their tails when in stressful or dangerous situations, an act known as autotomy from the Greek auto “self” and tome “severing” or self-amputation. Even after the tail is cast off, it goes on wriggling, hence distracting the lizard’s attacker. The lizard can regenerate