Celebrating East African Writing!
Aii, this man for whom I slave.
When I tell him the telephone says my sister-in-law is dead
Far away past Nairobi,
He just says ‘Oh!’
& just like that with his next tongue, he asks me
Where I’ve reached with his kazi
& pays me only the pennies I have sweated.
Not a ndururu upfront for pending work!
This man has no heart,
He does not know my one-eighty-seven relatives’ thousands of pains
& pulled hairs & dripping kerchiefs.
He doesn’t give a fuck: not two weeks off
Or even a few sympathy shillings
To help us cry sister-in-law.
Haki ya mama
Should the owl hoot for me after this man’s work –
After all his work and pennies,
He will not speak at my funeral.
Else I’ll bang my coffin ajar
And wipe sad shillings off his tongue.
© Oluoch-Madiang’, 2014.