Sunday, 7 August 2011

My Grandma and I

We sit at night with my grandma
A glowing tin-lamp
She a happy old folk
And I her grandson
“Please be calling me,” she says,
“Because you make my night’s sleep so happy and easy”
She finds joy in small things
She tells me to read hard
So that she boasts to others of having “officers”
She knows M-PESA
Tells me how she “signed” beside her name
Yet granny never went to school

She notices that I have added some weight
Tells me, “Grandson, Nairobi has kept you well”
Her wish is that when Tororot calls her
They will count her grandchildren and great grandchildren
She has the figures now and keeps adding them
From her voice, she would be happier if they were more

“Read hard grandson,” she tells me,
“the world nowadays feeds those who have gone to school”
Then I show her four books
I tell her “All these are in my head—all of them”
She looks at them bewildered
“All these, grandson? Not a small fight, this!”
Grandma never dreams of big things
She wants a new mattress and a blanket
And may be a lesso
She wants to be visited by all her grandchildren
Like her neighbour’s grandchildren
She wants a new iron roof over her head
This will make her happy, she says

I give her 200 shillings
She breaks into a dance
Spits into my hands, says prayers to me
Tells me, “Let my saliva smoothen your paths
Whatever is dry, let it be wet and soft”
Grandma sings out
Then stops and says, “Grandson, I hope I will be
There to see you eat at the shade”
“Get your first salary,” She foresees, “then bring it to me
I will bless you, your granary will never be empty”

Then as sleep crept upon her
I walked her to her hut
In the dark night, Grandma and I walked,
Side by side, with a phone lighting her way
It was about to rain
And as she stepped into her hut
I stood there, smiling
Consumed in her “halo” presence
“I love you grandma,” I whispered
The night carried away those words
It felt so good, it felt so nice

C) Lorot Salem 2011

Lorot Son of the Hills’ Notes

I actually wrote this poem on 1st August 2011, a day after a wonderful night spent with my grandmother. That night will be etched in my memory. I particularly remember her wonderful stories. She said that she had been sent some money through M-PESA, a local money transfer facility in Kenya. It is a requirement that the recipient signs beside ones name. Now, grandmother ( she has never seen the inside of a class), gets hold of the pen and demonstrates how she signs her signature in the fashion of how the educated do. Funny Koko.


Post a Comment

Echoes of the Hills is all about you. I would love to hear your echo...

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus for Echoes of the Hills