The Tombstones Of Kabeteshire

They dot,
They mark,
They decorate,
The numerous homesteads,
Of Kabeteshire.
They are the tombstones,
Of husbands long gone,
Of fathers long dead,
Of brothers long expired,
Of uncles long travelled to the other world,
And of friends and colleagues,
Who have met their untimely death…

This one here,
Was found murdered,
In his car,
While getting into his compound,
From work,
And nothing was taken from him,
His money,
His wallet,
His documents,
His mobile phone,
Were all left intact,
And it was assumed,
That maybe perhaps,
A business deal had gone wry somewhere,
Maybe we will never,
Get to know,
What exactly transpired,
In that fateful night…

That one there,
Was found,
Lying in a ditch,
And very dead.
While on his way home,
Late at night,
And very drunk,
He expired,
Under the attack of mysterious people,
Nothing was taken from him,
Even his half consumed bottle of Blue Moon vodka,
Lay untouched.
Another dead man…

In that homestead over there,
The man of the house,
Disappeared from the face of Earth, Just like that.
No one knows,
Where the poor fellow,
Disappeared to,
But it has been whispered,
In the village markets,
In the village shops,
In the village pubs,
And in the village churches,
That his remains,
Lies somewhere,
Deep in a dam,
Never to be seen again.
But dead bodies,
Tell no tales,
We will never know,
For sure,
What exactly happened.
Ah. The tombstones of Kabeteshire…

Most men are gone here,
And the ones left,
Are just zombies,
Sleeping day and night,
Too dazed with their alcohol,
Too fazed with their wives
Too done with their lives,
To make,
Head or tail,
Of this phenomena,
Of this dilemma.
Of this strange occurrence.
Too many men,
Have been “eaten”
By their spouses,
Of course.
Too many men,
Have been “eaten”
By alcohol,
Openly of course.
Nothing changes here.
Everything stays the same here.
Only tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Increases by the day.
Call that change,
By all means…

It all begins,
With a slight rebuke here,
With an innocuous scolding here again,
With a small jibe there,
And with a lambast there again,
From the wives,
And before long,
It goes to the occasional scalding with hot water,
Then to the thorough beatings,
Then to the slashing with machetes,
And now,
The wives,
Have graduated to another league,
The league of hiring merchants of death,
To deal and sort out,
Their “useless” husbands…

The careful man,
Goes home early,
And eats the semi-cooked food silently,
And bears the negligence from the wife stoically.
He has learnt,
To keep his mouth shut.
When his dear wife,
Disappears on days end,
On some womens’ chama outings,
And spend days,
In Naivasha,
In Nakuru,
In Mombasa,
Or in Kisumu.
He knows,
What happens,
During these chama outings.
Unadultered debauchery,
Is the main course,
On the menu of hedonism.
The women go,
To spend time,
With real and virile “men”
“Men” old enough,
To be their teenage sons,
Who wears sagging Jeans,
Who have their hair “fried”
Who adorn ear studs,
And listens to obnoxious music…

But he has learnt,
To let these things pass,
While his great grandfathers,
Stirs with justified and righteous angst and anger,
In their graves,
Their bones creaks,
With unanswered questions,
They long to come back,
And set things straight,
But they can’t.
They too,
Are long dead.
Very dead…

The careful man has learnt,
To go round the compound and house before sleeping,
And make sure that,
All the machetes,
All the axes,
All the hoes,
All the knives,
Are all locked up safely,
Lest his head is chopped off,
While asleep.
And all the cookers are switched off,
Lest he is scalded with hot water,
While asleep.
What a bother brother,
He silently curses under his breath.
The man,
Has been reduced to cowering with cows,
What an abnomination…

Go thee man,
And right things,
And make your ways right,
Slaughter a lamb,
A black lamb preferably,
And say a prayer to thy ancestors,
Facing the great and majestic mountain,
And ask Mwene Nyaga,
As to what went wrong,
Things are never the same again,
And maybe perhaps,
Things will never be the same again.
The tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Bares truth to this,
To this ugly picture.
The tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Attests to this,
To this unreal picture.
Of how dire things have become,
For the poor man…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013


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