Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Old Peoples Home

Memories clutter my mind
Though brushed away like the irritating
drone of a faraway mosquito
they rush back to suck my blood

of children playing in the dusty paths
on their way back from school

Of maternity wards where women’s
cries of pain interspersed with the joy of new life

Of nights filled with love-making sounds
masked by cupped hands and Raymonds blankets
in our one-roomed thatched hut

Of dresses mended till they cried out
and my one pair of shoes you nicknamed fish
because the toe area looked like a wide open mouth

I remember standing resolute and asking you all
to forego packed lunches of sweet potato and sour milk
so Mwangi would go to university

Not a dry eye
was seen in the house that night
None of you talked to me for days after that

You didn’t know that I,
mother of many,
ate only one meal each day

My eyes mist
as the funeral of my friend, your father
plays over and over, like a broken record in my head

I remember the laughter of friends
Mama Murungi caught atop a tree,
stealing bananas from her neighbour’s farm

I remember watching you grow
Looking on, satisfied as you walked away
with degrees in your pockets

How my face would glow
For each moment of success
Made my sacrifices worthwhile

I remember,
As I lie here
on this hard rickety bed
surrounded by the senile murmurings
and musty smell
of the old people’s home

I remember…

PoP © 1 Oct 07

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