Poetry

When My Lips Part: Two Poems by Atuhairwe Agrace Mugizi

Image: CLsa via Flickr

WHEN MY LIPS PART

I speak for the girl
who longs for a book
to break notion that her blood and flesh
are only purposed for childbirth; to yield more herdsmen;

for the boy who feels forgotten but needs
to emulate a gentleman and honor his duty as a real man
be he a nomad or a learning fellow
in the age of doubting genders;

for the man who needs pardon because
he has hit and hit and hit, cow or woman:
with his fist, than love with speech and act;

I speak for the woman who bears all,
learns to teach despite the pitch of shame
in the arena of building a home:

I speak for all because
I have been with all. I am all
and that has kept me awake
to reason with pen and pad.
Even my English should be simple

in justice and abundance
when tribal icons bewilder.

===========

THIS IS HOW IT BEGAN

We started like bees
humming alien tunes – legalese.
not that it frightened us, it pushed us

harder, some like us, from
prejudicial tribal homes, persisted
until the epitome burst us
out of the sac of The Bar.

We were mature, they ought
to have accepted
but we were severed,
we ran away, I carried a gram of dust,
in case my casket found me at Langata mortuary,
to a home we cherished. Many settled
with people none imagined. A child marries from home.

Nairobi. Nakuru. Kisumu. Meru
Eldoret. All of them. We longed to help
like we did but home called many, slyly, before
they pounced on us, had us plot to return
to an abode we barely remembered. Many had found use
at Milimani
along Kenyatta road,
right after the Water House
but it reminded us that

if we displayed
our new brains,
we would make sense
of a united east coast: alas! We are home and
we still chant and buzz in defeated dialogues.

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Poems: Atuhairwe Agrace Mugizi

Image: CLsa via Flickr

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