Nice Christian Girls (NCGs)

Nice Christian Girls (NCGs)
January 1995

On the steps of an almost Italian Bakery
wedged between the cracks
of post-colonial Harare
and shopping mall suburbia
I volunteered the thought
(whilst rummaging for conversation)
that Nice Christian Girls
rather got my goat
or didn’t
if you see what I mean.

“What exactly do you mean?”
she asked with a twinkle of dismay
and the tip of her nose wrinkled
in the most delightful way.

Being in the thick of it
attempting to retrace my steps
and keep my head above water
(cappuccino to be precise
this was Italian fare)
I doggy-paddled my way
towards an island of retreat.

Nice Christian Girls are pretty
I’ve hardly heard one swear
or tell an awful naughty joke
(all quite proper I presume)
but the human heart
the woman’s flesh
beneath the doll’s wrapping
stays well away
out of sight
out of mind
out of touch

I should be scared
to show my human form
to such a mind
afraid she’d shudder
and convulse
hide her heart
behind a prim and proper
picture of some ideal
that’s been planted
nurtured carefully
ever since the first dead seed
was sown
in Sunday school
by some lovely lady
well meaning in her holy fiction.

“Ah but,” my fellowship
of friends retorted:
“We have another side
we keep it hidden from the public eye
guard it jealously
for the dynamic young man
who alone will steal our hearts
and fall asleep in our arms.”

I heaved a sigh of deep relief
to hear a confession of frail humanity.
Yet without the clues
of passion furtively hiding
behind the veils of prudent
purity · I fear I’ll never
find such a woman:
one who’ll kindle my fire
and teach me how to keep it
through the nights
that skulk towards us
through the gloom.

Having thrown myself
so recklessly
into this furious debate
I hover on its edges
sipping my coffee
watching these women
throw a fear about their minds
wonder what type of self-adhesive label
I’ve stuck between their eyes.

I chuckle as I float
above the rim of my cup
laughing cynically at
Bright Young Things
with a spiritual bent
yet longing
(yes I confess it)
for a Nice Christian Girl
who’ll simply charm my pants off.
And survive to tell the tale.


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