Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Met a Girl In Kibera

I met this girl in Kibera
Tall, dark, lean, dark eyes and long hair
Elsewhere, she could have been a model
Strutting before hungry cameras and eyes
Making a living by being who she is

 But here, tucked in houses of mud
Under a roof that leaks
Living in a place of open sewers and flying toilets
Her beauty was hushed, intimidated
By this squalid place
Still, it shone through fake make up
And cheap, old, torn mitumba that she wore

She said I wasn’t a regular
But she still had a good deal for me, for it
“Just two hundred shillings for the night
I’ll be yours, to do as you please.”
Noting my surprise, she added:
“I may look young, but I know it all
Most of us around here do!”

I said lets have tea first
And she dragged me to the nearest makeshift hotel
Sipping tea as her red painted lips fluttered like leaves in a storm
She told me endless stories of things in store for me
Her face assumed the dead seriousness of a kanjo
While her lips the deadness of a bank safe
When I told her I wasn’t there for that
“What do you want?” Screamed her
Banging the table, standing and sitting
All in one moment.

Told her I was just checking in
That I wanted to see for myself
What life in Kibish really is like

She told me of her younger days
Walking to and from school, jumping
A ditch of running murk to step into another
“It was hard but fun nonetheless!”
There, on a hard bench biting my bottom
I knew of her mother who like her now
Worked especially during the night
She was sick now, so was her baby brother
“I had no choice, you see, so don’t judge me!”

I gave her a hundred and fifty, for its all I had
And walked home, thinking of this girl I had met
In her eyes, I saw her poor mother in bed
Wriggling in pain, cursing her life
I saw her little brother, small sad eyes
Popping out of his thin frame
Waiting for his sister to bring him peremende

Karani Kelvin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Read, share and comment! Glad to have you!