The cock crows
Her gourd-like breasts show
She hurriedly steps on the grasses of dew
Jeri can on her head, bucket in her hand
A hard worker indeed
Its water that the family needs
‘Mawe tatu’ they call it
A wide sufuria on it
Breakfast for a large family

The boys with their unshaved hair
Potential herdsmen
Still young, some only seven
Cows should graze
They all look brave
Cows should be milked
In the thatch-roofed kitchen she waits
She shouts at them they are late

The baby is awake
Needs a breastfeed for the cry to break
She is an African woman
Multi-tasking she definitely can

Metal plates have a jiggling sound
‘Githeri or nyoyo’, each plate with a heap
Gluttonous look on everyone’s face
Monkeys around, unstoppable gazes
Everyone too close to their meal
A while, the hunger is gone, killed
Her better half staggering
In the air, smell of chan’gaa reigning
Nice night out it was
She slept alone and in remorse

Raising his croaky voice
Audacity in abundance
‘Where is my food?’
Everyone aloof
Muddy clothes, loud table banging
She is crying, peace-searching
One for the road, he pukes on the floor
Her duty, her role, she must play
Mess cleaned, she puts him to lay
She is off to the lake
An African woman, with hope she can make.


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