Posts Tagged ‘disrespect’

“Uncle Dato built it.”
“It pleased him.”
“He calls it Memory Tree.”
Laughter from five cousins scorches the air.
“This from a man with dementia?”
“Open a door.”
“Holy der’mo!”
“Hello, Uncle.”
The eldest complies.
“Give it to me.”
A slip of yellowed paper passes hand to hand.
“Our wedding day. Zoya wore blue silk. Another.”
The youngest opens a door.
“Our firstborn lived three days. Another.”
“The army arrived. Few are left. Another.”
“The sun shone so brightly today. My heart is filled with joy.”
“We are eating dogs. Another.”
Doors open, shut, open, shut.
In less than an hour, memories of an entire lifetime flow over those gathered around the Memory Tree.
The final note.”My brothers have sons, I have none. I will pour love upon my nephews.”
Uncle Dato nods at each man before taking leave.
Silence. Then laughter.
“That’s one crazy old man.”

Today Pegman took us to Gurara Waterfalls, Nigeria. Thanks k rawson for an inspiring place to write about!

Used to be we ladies came here to scrub de sweat out of de armpits of plaid shirts
and rinse mud off de cuffs of heavy jeans.
Those stains meant our men were working hard in the fields
to support us and our little babies.

Our skirts and blouses are held together with patches and buttons in odd places.
No one minds. Them ratty old clothes never kept us from laughin and kissin the little ones,
nor sharing stories over a communal fire while cookin a fine meal for our men.

But things changed after the oil company came
and our men got new jobs.
Now dey stay in town after dark,
drinking de beer and spending money on ladies dat ain’t us.
Now we don’t care if the clothes are clean.

Last week, we ladies had a meeting.
It was decided.
Tonight’s soup will taste slightly bitter.

<!– start InLinkz script –>
<!– end InLinkz script –>