the stare

I would see him every day on the hallway swinging his arms and clap them together… I wondered secretly then hoped I won’t see that same act the next day. Oh no! He did it every morning, even till noon day!

Each time I walked into the building, they would salute, “big aunty”! I knew I wasn’t big as per size, but I soon realized they did that for a reason… hmmm…

Every morning we saw, she would ask; “how was your night”? One day I realized I never did ask that question back, so I decided to do that the next morning… oh well I did, and I got her life’s history in five minutes… pheww!

Oh boiled groundnut is my best fruit! My sister never failed to remind me… one day I decide to get it after work. “How much does this go for?” I ask the sales girl, and she just stares at me… I should have asked again, but I didn’t. I stared back, then I begin a conversation… this girl once had dreams like me!
– – – – –
This man is insane, but he isn’t getting any help yet he lives in a building with a million sane folks!
These young vibrant men used their uniform as license to beg for money from seemingly big aunties!
That young lady just needed someone to talk to, if only I had asked n’ listened earlier; she would know not to always return to that way of life each time a need arose!
That young dreamer turned groundnut seller, has now learnt to dream again… just by a stare!

Life’s biggest lesson… “Don’t only look, see”.
Today I tread a new path that people now walk on… daily, I live for someone!


when my water broke


When I was little, I broke my mother’s china plates

I never broke them on purpose… my mother unhappy, yet made excuses for me

“she’s a child” she will mumble under her breath

I am a woman now, I remember when my water broke…

Nothing in the world compared to the pain, yet excitement I experienced

 My heart raced… with screams and long pushes, this breakage brought another living creature out of me… oh! The awesomeness of God!

I recall tearing up profusely as I held in my hands, my own child. I continually said to myself ; “he came out of me” it was too amazing for me!

A new experience had begun… my life changed in split seconds…

There were sleepless nights, lullabies sung most times, in futility!

Multiplied responsibilities… I was the multi-tasking mother, and wife!

Our home was beautiful, it smelled of lilies… “B” literally always raced back home!

My heart gladdened each time he would rest on the recliner and exhale “ahhh”! as though he long waited to breathe.

“ Maami, eti ko mi dada”…my soul sang…

 I watched my mother build a strong home

When she reprimanded, I learnt

When she responded to Baami, I listened… I understood every inflection

Sometimes her eyes spoke… I read them

She would knot her wrapper to the left, bend down and pluck flowers for the house… they were everywhere! Then, you could call us “the floral family”

She laughed hardest to Baami’s jokes… he felt like the king of humor

Oh Maami!

Sara’s mum always remarked on how pretty we dressed… my mother just knew how to match colors…we were the cities’ best dressed!

The memories I relish in most, are those times we would just sit for hours, listening to Maami speak! So much wisdom proceeded from her; soon books had to contain them!

She always reiterated my Father’s words to us… I was determined to honor the one now over me and make him my children’s hero!

I hear my husband praise me… I owe it to what Maami taught me

Today, I am someone’s most prized possession, a one in gazillion mother, a strong sister, I am another’s best friend, I even head a team of laudable staff!

 She is a queen, a friend, a mother, a nation… she is my Mother!

In word and in deed, she taught me… she taught me well.

                                                                                     Paula Ezeka