My Brother, From Another Woman: Poetry by Levi Cheruo Cheptora

Image: RachelH_ via Flickr (modified)

Image: RachelH_ via Flickr (modified)


I saw him again today
Heaving with ecstasy,
His fat, round, ugly tummy dancing merrily,
Swaying up and down like a gecko to the rhythm of his venomous words,
Reminding you, my brother,
That I do not belong…
That as the rightful heir to the yam and the knife,
He must be elected,
Be your emissary,
And you, my brother from another mother,
His subservient disciple.

When tomorrow comes,
Dressed in her red suit of ear-splitting silence,
Tramping its mighty feet on the dusty, barren ground,
Threatening to pierce our conscience with her all-knowing eyes,
And take away our hopes,
You my brother from another woman,
Would find it hard to hold still your trembling limbs,
And like a stranded sailor on the stormy sea,
With nowhere to run to,
And no one to turn to.

When the dreadful night trudges up your way,
Heavy laden with sorrows,
Flapping its frozen wings,
He would still be the rightful heir to both the yam and the knife,
That he would remember the next time,
When yet another electioneering season beckons,
The season when we must hang the honest men,
Elect the thieving elite,
Vilify saints,
Exalt demons,
Then cowardly retreat to our tribal holes,
And resume the eternal counting of our losses.

In the meantime,
You had better hold tight my hand and never let go,
Speak no more for I can hear your eyes speak,
Understand the twitching of your lips.
And when yet another dusk shows up,
You can bring over your wife and kids,
There is a tin of unga under my widowed bed,
A coin to ward off imminent cold,
For we might never share tribe, yes,
But just like you,
Here in my heart lies a fleshy heart,
And not a stone.
Poem © Levi Cheruo Cheptora
Image: RachelH_ via Flickr (modified)

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