Celebrating East African Writing!

Death of Sister-in-Law

This man

This man

Aii, this man for whom I slave.
When I tell him the telephone says my sister-in-law is dead
Far away past Nairobi,
This man
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.



8 comments on “Death of Sister-in-Law

  1. Congras O-M


  2. Boyd K. Nyirenda.
    May 5, 2014

    Congrats Man! I am proud of you Madi!


  3. Eddy Ongili
    May 5, 2014

    This is a great poem. Congratulations to Mr. Madiang’


  4. kipng'etich kenneth (kenny ace)
    May 5, 2014

    awesome! The Boss is at stake with the unspoken.


  5. Sospeter Njoroge
    May 5, 2014

    Nice one. Congrats Madiang!


  6. Counsel
    May 15, 2014

    i love this!! very creative


  7. chrispus
    May 21, 2014

    great work; refreshing in fact


  8. abuamirah
    May 21, 2014

    Amazing, and easy to remember..


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