Come to See Me Die – a poem

for Ganga Ba


I knew that they had come

To watch me die, slow in bed,

From the more than four corners

For the earth realm is far vaster

Than a square.


Is this how a matriarch goes out?
Cooped up in a little room

And barely able to move, fed

Fresh coconut water through a straw,

By my 2nd to youngest child?


Food means little less than memory

Recalled from the films I saw,

Exact quotes and dramas unfurled

On hi-tech screens where long before

I saw monochrome.


I sweltered in the heat of India,

Of Kenya’s high street, high above

Ground zero, rolling rotis, making tea,

8 children and countless visitors

In my social scene.


Those children all grew up and went

On to have kids of their own, being

Brought up by me and love from community,

Soaring into success, joint and separately,

Old now, supporting me.


I have seen them become old themselves,

My kids who were so defenceless,

So very, very pure and precious,

A story told across 4 generations,
A last station…


They crowd in about me, now too many

For me to remember properly, faces

That I can scarce recall for heavy

Weigh the years on my soft skin, body

Ravaged by age.


The closest I remember, the rest are

Vague, ephemeral faces so like mine

Yet different, separate and so, so fine,

All come to care for me, to see me

Just before I die.


Thank you for being a mother, a Ba, to all of us. It will be very sad when you leave us. x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s