Utambulisho wangu
(My identity)

utambulisho wangu
ni mamang’u
aliyeninyonyesha
aliyenilea
aliyenidekeza
aliyenibembeleza
halali
kabla sijalala
hajala
kabla sijala
anaficha mateso yake
ili nisihuzunike
anatabasamu
ijapo anauma
anavumilia
kilio changu usiku kucha
akatembea miguu wazi
ananitafuta mitaani
akihofia usalama wangu
baba alipofariki
nikaeleza kisomi
kanuni za dialectics
mama alipoaga
nikalia la utotoni
mtu mzima wa miaka 40
Pala kanisitiri
‘Issa! sasa umekua’

~~~

My identity

my identity
is my mother
who nursed me
who raised me
who indulged me
who pampered me
never sleeps
before I sleep
never eats
before I eat
hides her suffering
to keep me cheering
smiles
despite being pained
tolerates
my nightly cries
and she walked barefoot
searching the neighbourhood
fearful for my safety
when dad passed
I consoled intellectually
principles of dialectics
when mom departed
I wept like a child
an adult of 40
Pala[1], my friend, wise cracked
‘Issa, now you’ve matured’

August 27, 2017


  1. A friend Palamagamba Kabudi’s nickname.

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Poems for the Penniless Copyright © 2019 by Issa G Shivji. All Rights Reserved.

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