When you cross the Pearly Gates, will you sing for mum?
I recall those tender dew watered Yaoundé morns
When the cassette spun your voice out the Kenwood speakers,
Lulling my childhood ears to plains which white lilies adorn
And bees buzz the harmony to your vocals and the horns.
I recall especially as each new year died to birth another one
That mum would pop the cassette as metronome to the countdown.
And we would be eagerly watching the TV, eyes darting from clock
To TV, from clock to TV, holding on to the present’s each sound,
Conscious these moments shall roam hence only in Memory’s town.
The lyrics were beyond my mono-lingual grasp, but for “Liberté”
Where I felt freedom of my spirit soaring, and then “Bonne année”
Which nobody needed to explain. This is all I can take with me round
Memory’s town. But mum sure knew all the songs, and would sing away
As I watched in marvel as her lips waved a magical musical day
So Ma’am Nzie, this only I ask of you as you walk the path she took:
Let those words I didn’t understand but which my childhood shook
Pour once again beyond Peter, with love messages from me, three and more
And please, let her… please… harmonize once more every single hook
As once she did, but now in praise to my Maker as He lovingly looks.