Ivan Aboga Rackara writes a noe

Note to World, Credit to Mother.

via Daily Prompt: Captivating

She woke me up at six-thirty that morning as usual in lieu of the long school day I had ahead, as I left bed, she couldn’t help but get a queer feeling so she asked me whether I was okay to which I replied jokingly that I would be the day no one had to wake me up.

Brushing away my ill-placed humour, she gave my neck a long pat and confirmed her fears that I wasn’t as fine as I thought I was, when I suddenly felt nauseated she sent me to the washroom, closely tracking behind me and standing by the door in case I needed her; which I highly doubted.

I emptied the residue of the previous night’s meal and to my horror realized that there were sizable amounts of blood in my puke, I was vomiting blood, to add insult to injury my body felt light, I was really weak, in the next moments the floor faded in on me and I collapsed hitting my head on the floor.

When I gained consciousness moments later, I was on her back, that woman that I had never seen jogging around Namuwongo streets in sneakers ran with me for a kilometre, panting and sweating, exhausted but never getting tired, that same woman found the clinic closed and attacked the doctor at his house, she wasn’t going to let whatever ailment I had suck the life out of her ten year old.

After threatening the physician over my recovery and confirming that I would be okay, she returned home and prepared my sister for school, continued to be a housewife, a mother, leader and role model, I respect women because I love that woman, happy belated women’s day Betty Lissy, my mother.

Discipline, humility, empathy, hard work, respect and prayer are just a few values instilled into me by that skinny woman, jolly but lethal woman and although sometimes I fall short of her expectations, I can always count upon her forgiveness, because like in the hearts of all mothers who always love their children inspite of all flaws she always has a soft spot for me that is mine, exclusively mine.

To all those women who continue to make a difference in our lives sometimes braving poverty, sickness, abuse, violence and harassment amongst thousands of societal ills, and still raise us their children with love and care, I say to them happy belated women’s day and mother’s day, one day is not enough to express our gratitude.

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Sunset in Kalongo

Not Acholi Enough.

You stare at me with cold dismissive eyes,
Giggle when I embrace ignorance and stare blankly at your eyes.
I can’t understand what your Acholi quote means.
You offer to explain but where is your generosity,
when your eyes glimmer with satisfaction at my misfortune.
In your envy drenched eyes I look pathetic with every word I speak.
You laugh because am a University graduate, because you think
that everyone who crosses the mighty Karuma bridge lives in Kampala.
And Kampala people are star-spangled and posed to know everything.
Those very eyes that always stare at me in awe,
every single time I say “Shilling” instead of “Chiling” detest me.
Yet they almost reveal admiration when I tell you about Kampala:
the walking stairs, food delivery services, and traffic,
You love it when I show you the book that stores photos of everyone,
for hours you talk about how it would be nice to have your name there,
for everyone to see, how impressive it would look if it also included a photo of you,

Holding an axe like the actor in machete,
so I open for you a Facebook account, we are friends for life.
In that amiable moment I get deluded, think that you accept me,
I nearly call you bruh, then the jerk in you takes over.
You see me finger a lump of millet bread.
Then act surprised that a Kampala person would eat millet.
I swallow hard and attempt to smile, me forgives you
Just like “Yecu” did to his killers, begone with the rueful smile already,
Some Kampala folk like me are religious.
Wait!! Did I just call myself a Kampala person?
Now do you see what your categorization had done to me?
My Mukono folks are offended already,
how could I think of Kampala as my place of residence.
Apologies Mukono.

We go out deer hunting with the rest of the youth,
Never hunted before, but if you will just teach me nicely,
I might spear you a rabbit, but when I throw the spear and miss,
miss on my very first try, you laugh, shout it out loud,
on the streams of the Agago river that am a city boy,
like incompetence is posed to be a thing for town dwellers,
again I forgive you, again you repeat it. Again you repeat it.
This time at the dance arena when a firm breasted lively girl,
makes an attempt to wiggle her curvaceous bottom towards me,
you remind her to go easy on me, since I just arrived from Kampala,
Am simply not good enough in your eyes, am just a city boy.
My father’s Acholi blood that flows in my veins is just a ruse of city people,
Am not Acholi enough

hand written letter

To a son in Kampala

You boarded Otada coach that day, lured into that evil town by the clutches of opportunity,
You were never one to accept poverty, you always said that we all had a right to be rich, Kampala people you said, lived in wealth,
When one day I made the mistake of asking you who had said this nonsense,
You got excited and began telling me of Pilato who is not the one in the Bible,
You said this man was a thinker and he had imagined an ideal  world where everyone was happy, content, rich, and never sad.
When I told you that it was not possible you said I was using my brain,
told me of Pilato’s learner who had later refused to agree with him.

I wanted to stop you, convince you to stay for just one more month, one small month
Wait for Abiro’s army like Opobo’s son had done, join them and get a job here in Pader,
but I knew I was no match for you. You had an answer for everything
and wasted people’s time giving examples in books only you had read,
not even Lapyem your English teacher at Angagura who says he taught Obote,
could not understand the things you said, just like us the unlearned people,
he looked at you in surprise and wonder when you spoke.

You said that Kampala had jobs for everyone, and we just all had to go there,
tell the people keeping them to leave them and we would start making money.
You worked harder than anyone else the following year. Striving for Kampala,
Saving for Kampala, braving the hardships here at home,
Craving for the opportunity that town with many cars and tarmacked roads offered.
I could almost hear Kampala in your dreams when you lay at night.
I smelt it on your breath when you sat down for breakfast
I prayed for you at church, I wanted you to be happy, I wanted it to be alright.
But all I felt was Kampala’s might, slowly carrying you away from me.

Am grateful when every month you send Ojok, the shopkeeper money for my well being
but it is still not enough for me because I want to see and hear from you,
I last saw you five years ago when you came home for your Uncle Bitum’s burial.
Am growing older and maybe it is with old age that I’ve turned into a nagging person,
but am tired of seeing you only on Ojok’s phone on that program that shows people’s faces.
I saw photos of you in a big suit, muscular, strong like your late father in his army uniform.
I just wish that I could see you, that’s all I ask and pray for.

NB: I didn’t mean that the money wasn’t enough, I was saying that sending money is not enough and I want to see you more often.

Love, your mother.


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