Editor’s Note: Zipporah Kuteesa, The Fictional Cafe’s 500th member, submitted her poetry to us. We are pleased to present her words, published for the first time!
I REMEMBER NOW!
I was reminded of the joy
That came with passing by.
The toddler I was…
Fascinated by the beat,
That drew us out into the heat,
The thundering of the drums,
My grandmother holding me back
And I running back.
My young intrigued eyes blinking
So fast I didn’t want to miss a beat.
I was reminded of the oneness
That we shared in bliss,
My mother and I,
We never questioned why
Grandma at her age was antsy
And upbeat about the pulsating drums.
Because we too could feel it
It spoke full of meaning
The ancient morals that kept us
Sane, one, soberly together.
I was reminded of the rhythm
That united us for a lifetime,
Kept our culture together,
Like it were worth a fortune
Something to be savored.
Lines maintained, all drums
Playing in tune to the heartbeat
Of our mother culture.
The passion of the boys
I felt, with every swish and swash
Of the arms holding the sticks.
I was reminded of my heritage!
The older I got, the harder life got
The thinner my hair grew
And lesser I saw
The world around me
Blurred closer to a non-existent
Fairytale, my past beckons me
As though it weren’t real.
Because the little of it that is left
Is as though it was never there.
Had I loved you more would it change the fate that I now face? You have abandoned me yet I held you close at your time of ignorance and unawareness, I was all you got then. Now that you’re all I have, you prefer to stay away from me. The common scent that grows on people of my kind, is it what keeps you away? Do I smell so old to you? Okay, for you to come I will wash myself a hundred times just so you don’t leave me. For you I will even fumigate.
Maybe you’ll love me more
Stay with me, even host me often
If I act dumb, useless and indecisive
Just so you can find it easy to take…
My labor’s fruit, things I sweated for.
I will watch you waste it all away
Just so you keep me around you.
I will behave, I promise you!
I will tame the beast of forgetfulness
That creeps on me ever so often.
If my tired limbs behave,
I will even work tirelessly for you.
Just so you don’t let me away in loneliness.
Praying hard that at your time of being like me at this age uncalled for, you don’t forget that I was forgotten. I was left alone by my very own. I was left to die old and crippled in a place so distant only excuses could make it to my abode. The excuses you constantly made when I called for you for nothing else but just the sight of you. When that time comes my dear, remember that none of the promises you made to me were fulfilled. You left me to memories of the care, love, discipline, heartache, reciprocated with ingratitude, bad attitude and neglect.
I’m left to caretakers who know
Nothing but basis about my well-being
They promise, fulfill sometimes but
All doesn’t equate to the loss I feel
You’re away from me, stuck in fumes
That will make worse than I am now
When your time to be like me comes.
25k cannot cover the hole,
The hole widening in my gut.
Each time you send me money
And I don’t get to see you,
I’m left wanting and longing.
Thanks a lot my grandchildren look great!
But I want to see my children too!
Is it too bad to ask?
Or too hard a task?
I want my family together just like you fight so hard to keep yours. I will leave soon anyway so it won’t be too long; till you stop coming to me. It’s only fair that I get your love, care and support, you’re all I have. They won’t get it like you do, they aren’t family. I love you, do you? You know… love me?
To learn more about Zipporah, see our interview here!
This is very moving.