Monday, 7 March 2011

I Have a Question, Father

[ Image from]

My eyes don't lie to me, father,
My ears don't lie to me, father

When I hear you insult mum
Yet say that I should not insult my teachers
I feel like I don't understand all this

You make us live in fear, father,
Mum tells us, "Shhhssh, your dad is coming"
And when you finally come, we hide under our blankets

That is when you sing, father:
"Mututho, utabaki mi nitaenda na beer
Eeeh Mututho utabaki mi nitaenda na beer"
You would sing and sing
And tell mum to warm your food

Then I will hear you insult mum
Bang the table, slap mum
You will beat mum, she will cry
I will wake up, shield mum
So that you will stop
But you will beat her again and again

In the morning, father,
You will tell me to obey teachers at school
And be a good child
But when I  look at mum:
Her swollen eyes, her cracked lips
Her bruised neck, her fractured forehead
All these, father, make me not understand you

In the school my friend Tom tells me
That his father plays with his mum
That he has not heard his father insult his mother
That they laugh everyday

Yesterday, father, I saw Tom's mother
Her eyes were good, her lips alright
On her neck she had a very good necklace
I saw her and I cried for mum

I have a question, father,
If Tom's father doesn't beat his mother
Why do you beat mother?

C) Lorot Salem 2011


Herotomost said...

Damnation, that was sad and so well said. I felt like I was sitting in a dark corner watching it unfold in a dimly lit room. What a social comment and a personal comment. As sad as it is I am so glad I stopped by. Great writing.

Salem Lorot said...

Thanks Herotomost. I stopped by your blog and man, you have such good poetry.

Judy Roney said...

Oh, my. Oh wow! This is such a powerful poem and one that needs to be read by everyone in every country. This is beautiful in it's construction and devastating and important in it's message. Well done!

Salem Lorot said...

Thanks you Rony. I am humbled. Glad you stopped by.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Powerfully spoken, through the honest eyes of a child. Such good writing, it has an impact and tells a sad truth eloquently. The contrast in the description of the two mothers is very effective.

Salem Lorot said...

@ Sherry Blue Sky, I read somewhere that if you want to know about the future of the society, then it is in the eyes of a child. That if you want to harm society most, kill them. In a way, owing to the fact that there are children out there who are suffering under the searing heat of the society's ills,this poem was their freedom song.

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