A retrospective: The house of laughter

In the house of happiness –
this Maison du Bonheur –
a child tries to learn the Qu’ran,
confusing Allah Al Akhbar with Ali Baba,
Smiling proudly
as his mum and dad laugh
from the depths of their stomachs.

In this happy place,
the war against the harmattan
that daily brings its carpet of dust inside,
is lost to men in dust-browned socks,
who muddy it anew,
as they clean it.

As I sit in the hammock,
I hear from the garden
of this happy house,
an unexpected trickle
as the child urinates
over the palms
and tourtoise-food.

Now it is my turn,
to cackle from my diaphragm,
for a moment before his mum
delivers
a resounding yet painless smack
to this misbehaving child
in this happy madhouse.

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