The UWASA execs hope your reading week went fabulous. As we are starting a new school week, we will like to share a beautiful piece by one of our wonderful members, Sorbari Alice Lahben. Last week Monday, an annual KW region event called Bring On the Sunshine took place. At this event, Sorbari delivered a piece that moved some audience members to tears. Below is the written piece.

The Other Woman is Home
by Sorbari Lahben

How do I tell you that I still love you
But will prefer to do so in private? will
only recite love poems
when the sun has gone to sleep
and let the moon and stars hanging
in the dark night sky
witness my brave cries
on your behalf

Is it possible to declare my love
even though it’s tainted with shame?
Is it wrong that I love this home
better than our own?
cause it’s so much easier to ignore the cries of my brothers
when I’m far away from home, mother

Here, there‘s
too much house and too little home
Too much space, very little room for me
to be the daughter of my mother
to dance and sing and eat and talk and be, me
mother
her cooking doesn’t taste like (what)
my taste buds have been trained to like
her food fills me with
nausea or nostalgia, mother I’m home—sick

Is it right to say I love you
when I never write home? Mother,
Can I love you
from another woman’s home?
while I call another mother, home?
and beg her to adopt me?
while I fill my ears with
her songs, her stories
and let my mother tongue die
retelling a lie
that home is where I left my heart
Truth is I split my tongue in two
Trying to speak mother tongue
so far away from our fatherland
learning to tell our stories with her languages

Mother!
I hear blood is thicker than water
Is that why I feel so much resistance
when your blood tries to course through my veins?
or is it because
I have loved another’s mother
clung to her bosom like she bore me
like she groomed me
like she knew me
like she was home, mother

Absence does make the heart forget
I forget you sometimes
I forget those who live and breathe, and move
inside of you
who call you home, mother
I go to sleep
trying to forget I came out of you
Trying to ignore the tug of the
umbilical cord that I still try to sever. Mother,

They said the grass was greener
but didn’t mention the birds that
fly too high like they are
trying to reach for dreams that are nested
in the sky. I
dream like birds. Left
home once my wings were strong enough
to battle the winds like I had to
become stranger to my nest
to find a home, to find rest

I did find a place like home
but it never was. Home.
So even though I let my dreams
carry me on these ocean currents,
into the arms of the other woman
I can never forget you!

Everyday I set my GPS
with more than one home
address, mother
I write to tell you that
I left home when I left you
but home never left me – I love you

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