I just realised after writing this today morning that this is the first poem I’ve dedicated to my late paternal grand mum thinking about her on this day dedicated to older persons, who struggle in the modern world. The real coincidence is in the fact that this is happening on the day of her patron saint : St. Theresia.
So what can I say, RIP beloved Tsimi Theresia Pisoh aka U’uwu, we loved you lots, and we’ll see again by God’s will.
It’s night, and the termites are misting the veranda
On which we sit together and swat away, missing and hitting,
Then retire to the inside, you, my siblings and I.
I’m too young to understand the words you bandanna
About my head of past events like the friend you were skitting
In that one story, painting to us your comic side.
The smile on your face for the happy tales from that long ago
Lights up my heart, even though I don’t understand the sentences,
Nor the importance of understanding them now for later.
The tears that hide from the sad tales, from the gun and bomb echo
As you ran in fields at that first war, have my heart on picket fences
To see that pain, to relive through the jaws of the alligator.
But I relished every instant you brought us to that far away era,
And the candy you shared, and the advice…not always followed
My encyclopedia, my history book, the only type of history to love.
I felt Death toy with my infant soul each time he came a lil’ nearer
And the doctors would struggle to keep with you that breath borrowed,
Giving me more life, more time to really internalize what you spoke of.
It’s night U’uwu, and you’re not here, and I regret when I couldn’t sit
To care for my lovely gramma, wondering where you get all these stories
Wondering why an adult would need so much support, while dad, mum
They’re so strong, so big, like you, diving in and out of lion pits,
Lifting mountains, I thought you were strong, U’uwu, your allegories
Were stronger than dad’s, mum’s, and you’d given dad strength serum.
Where did it go? Why do you walk so slow, while you ran in your tales?
Where did the teeth go? Why are you bent over, U’uwu, what’s wrong
That your strength fled your body at time’s command, leaving this frail
Person, unlike the picture I could make from the time of bomb hails?
And now you’re gone U’uwu, and I miss you after answering my question
As dad,mum get your ageing strength, and I crawl behind on that same rail.