Monday, 9 May 2011

I Sing For You “Yoo”

(I dedicate this poem to my lovely mum, Mrs. Paulina Maya Choram, and all mothers on Mother’s Day 08/05/2011)

Yoo, away from the village
Everyone is calling this day
“Mother’s Day”
I have seen it everywhere—
On TVs, in papers, on Facebook
Which will surprise you

And everyone here, Yoo,
Is decorating her mother
With a status update
Or making that occasional call
Or buying a rose
Or getting a gift

Yoo, as for me
I will serenade you with a song
To sing of your gentleness
To sing of your smile
To sing of your hope

What gift so lasting
Can outlast words written?
Yoo, what gesture so vivid
Can surpass my imagination and love?
Yoo, how do I celebrate you
Along other mothers if not by a song?

Yoo, the mention of your name
Is as sweet as bone marrow
Your love is as steady as the stones of
A fireplace
And your smile, yoo,
Is as warm as a cow’s stomach

Riziki haivutwi na kamba”, you told me
Mama ni mama hata awe kiwete”, you reminded me
Usiibe wala usinyang’anye”, you warned me
Enda usome usichekecheke na watoto wa watu”, you advised me

If only this world was contented like you
If only people talked much less like you
If only they lived at Shabaha
To learn humility and simple things of life
If only we had more mothers like you
Not so much because you are a saint
But because you live with hope
And your mistakes make you human
Yet you still inspire, minting virtues
You don’t parade these before mortals
You don’t brag, you don’t complain

Three things I ask of
Tororot, God of the Rising Sun:
One, that He keeps you long
That you may eat in the shade
Two, that He keeps me
That I water that tree
Three, that that tree
Feeds many others


Yoo- Pokot name for a mother.

Riziki haivutwi na kamba- A Kiswahili saying meaning that you should not depend on the fortune of others and that you should work to earn your living.

Mama ni mama hata awe kiwete- Kiswahili for ‘ your mother is your mother even if she is lame, or rather in politically correct term, physically challenged.

Usiibe wala usinyang’anye- Kiswahili for ‘neither steal nor forcibly take’.

Enda usome usichekecheke na watoto wa watu- Kiswahili for ‘go and read, don’t laugh with people’s children’.

C) Lorot Salem 2011


The Unknowngnome said...

Nice work Salem.

Salem Lorot said...

Thank you so much The Unknowngnome. I really appreciate that. :)

Andy said...

Absolutely lovely Salem.
Your mom is a wise woman. We would all do well to heed her words and follow the path of humility and kindness.

Beautifully written. A perfect poem for all mothers.

For me and my mom, everyday is Mother's Day!

Salem Lorot said...

Witty observation there, good Andy. Matter of fact, we should celebrate them every other day. I read a quote somewhere that God did not want to be everywhere so He created women.

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