Tuesday, 1 March 2011

You have Failed Me, Mondanyu

[ Image from mentalhelp.net ]

I too want to share the glory
Of an exuberant parent before Press:
The intelligent glance, rolling eyes, warm embrace,
I too want that piece of glory
To see your name in the papers
To watch the clip of our laughter on the Telly
To share a joke about how the Great Werunga was intelligent.
But I hide my face, unable to bear the shame:
Your Headteacher told me this morning that you were namba-mkia*
In all the four years, you could not even come with a dik dik home
All you collected were safari ants and wild berries!
How will I meet my fellow women in the Merry-go-round?
What shall I tell them? That you floundered?
What do I tell your father? That this stupidity I passed it to you?
In the morning, I asked myself many questions
In the fields I eked out a living, all I got I gave your Headteacher
Late into the night I sew mats to buy you kerosene and textbooks
We rehabilitated the cow-shed into your study-room
When we afforded, we called Mwalimu Losil for your tuition
What didn't we do that made you fail, mondanyu*?
Where will I put my face in the Merry-go-round?
What shall I tell them? That you floundered?

 * Namba-mkia- A Kiswahili term for the last, one who is at the tail-end of the class.
* Mondanyu- A Pokot word for 'My child'.

C) Lorot Salem 2011


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