The one I call Daisy

She’s gone and suddenly she’s everywhere.

Pets can break your heart. Kittens to be precise, but I am at odds and writing about her is wounding myself over and over again. We rescued a kitten two months ago and named her Daisy. At first I found her annoying because she was everywhere, in my face, on my books,snoozing on my clothes,sprawling on my laps as I watched a movie, jumping on my feet and always purring.Then, I went to sleep with her beside me, always woke up to her face, played along with her,fed her and let her sleep on books. 

Yesterday, as I was shutting the door I heard her scream and looking down I saw her neck caught between the hinge. It was 8:07pm and mom was watching an episode of CSI. Daisy twitched and kicked and kicked and lay still.
Life’s fragile and she fought, God she fought. We watched her take her last breath and buried her out in the garden, two steps beneath my bedroom window.  

Two women digging away into the dirt at night, and I held her and wrapped her in my favorite cloth. She did not sleep beside me. She did not drink from her bowl today, and who knew that this little kitten would break my heart, who knew that she’d die in my hands, who knew this of the one I called Daisy?

to be inspired

When you wake up and write for hours and cannot take a bathroom break, you’re on a high.

It’s so great you want to dance in your nightdress and so you do.

It’s as intoxicating as being kissed by the guy you’ve been crushing on in the rain, just outside your house.

It’s like,

It’s like,

It’s like heaven in fall

Clouds and rain,

Laughter and bliss,

Love and kisses,

It’s what it feels like to be inspired and you go with the flow until something like spell check, boredom or a blackout bursts your bubble. But one thing is certain,just like that kiss, that taste of freedom, it never leaves you.

Cup of tea

I am reckless,

when restless,

not thoughtless,

just reckless.

The words come out,

The hands move about,

The feet pace up and down,

Until it all comes out.

I am reckless,

not thoughtless,

and that might not be your cup of tea.

After the Ashes

Maria, I told you that our journey began long before my feet could meet the ground, but I was never prepared for the life of bitterness that followed. The bravest man is the one assured of his death. Wakoli, the village shoe maker was such a man. You never met him, but Wakoli could look at your shoe and stitch it in one motion, but the same hands could not hold a woman’s hand without his knees shaking. It came as a surprise when he suddenly said that he wanted to return to his father’s land. We sat with him as one of his hands went into the shoe and the other the needle, pulling and fastening and fixing. He would speak of his ancestral home. “A man has no friends in this world.” He would pick another shoe, look at it and smile. “You can tell a lot about a man’s shoes. How he takes care of the things that protect his feet as he leaves footprints on the earth. Some shoes speak of love, others, misery, but my Father’s home is awaiting me.” Wakoli was not a day older than your Father, but his back was bent from all the stitching he did. He carried his sack of shoes waiting for his clients to come for them. The sack was old and torn but never did a shoe fall from it. Wakoli was such a man Maria. The wind. He came and went as he pleased. Everyone at home knew him, but even so, he was the only one who saw me beneath the busaa.

No, that is not true, he was one of the few who saw me, your mother- Nyanam, the only woman who could carry ten pots of water and not complain of a stiff neck come dusk. She would laugh and you would believe Heaven was with you. When she cooked, the food would warm your soul, and she never let me sleep hungry. She would come to the busaa den looking for me. “Shemeji, you have to eat what I made today, you know you are the only one who appreciates my cooking, eh? Now how about a few mouthfuls then you can continue quenching your thirst?” When she returned home, your Father would be waiting by the door, his rage ten times his size. She would start singing praises of him. He was her one and only gem. He worked day and night to keep her young. He gave her what she wanted before she even asked. She would sing and praise his looks; his handsome face, strong hands, big feet, big heart and she would go on until your father shrunk back to his size.

PS: Definitely a working progress, let’s see how the story goes.

after-the-ashes

Intrigue

You know there is story when two people’s eyes meet across a table, in a matatu, a church and one person smiles. You know one of them is crazy when they give that death stare. You also know that you are probably imagining things when they wave and shout ‘hi!’

But, you are officially mental if you think that there is a story where there’s none. However, if you write, then you are the lucky one percent that gets away with it and it happened to me.

I was in Naivas supermarket here in Kisumu going through a selection of braids. They have this simple aisle that is packed with nothing but braids; blue, brown, red, maroon, grey, white, green, black, gold, short, long. You can have your pick of braids in less than ten minutes plus the prices are two shillings less than other supermarkets. I braid often. Guess that helps me save ten shillings for every five packs.

So, there I am with this wild afro going through braids when I hear someone say, “niaje, madam!”

I’ve had a long battle with this phrase “Madam” for though it is better than ‘tsk! tsk!’ or ‘wewe!’ or ‘tsss!’ it always reminds me of primary school teachers. There is always this spitfire in me that is tempted to retort, “do I look like a primary school teacher?” But, it has never come through, mainly because I prefer to confront people in a counseling session rather than in public, crowds can disappoint you.

I turn to my left and see this supermarket attendant checking out the girl right beside me. She has her earphones on and I look up at him and smile. He shrugs smiles and asks me to tap the girl, you know, to join his team in getting her attention, but the girl is busy picking braids- purple braids.

I settled for black braids and make my way to the cashier to check out. I take one look at the aisle and the guy is still checking out the girl watching her hands travel across the packs of braids, fingers caressing, gripping and then letting go of each pack. I pay for my goods and descend the stairs, wondering just how great I’d look in purple braids!

They like me

Ruth was the kind of person whose voice you had to mine before you heard it.

I asked her, “Tell me what happened.”

She said, “Do you really want to know?”

“No, but some selfish part of me wants you to hear yourself talk about it.”

My demons like me alone. They come to me sometimes at 2A.M. or 4A.M. They don’t come empty handed. They always bring gifts. Hansel’s smiles. Shouts. Broken glass. Screeching tyres and blood. They always bring me blood and it’s everywhere. On the seat, on my lips, on my face, and he’s gone.

My demons like me alone. I think, I like them too, at least he’s still alive when they visit. So, I unwrap each gift as time goes on.

She left just like she’d come, but with each step she took, I knew she’d never stop. You cannot cage the wind. I have tried. I am still foolish to believe that I can. When the text came this morning, my knees touched the floor and for the first time in my life, I knew it to be true…you cannot cage the wind, it destroys you if you try.