Friday, 22 January 2016

A Rat in My Traditional Hut

A Rat in My Traditional Hut
There is a rat that mouths
Beneath pores of the holes in my traditional hut. 
And each time I walk inside the house, 
I find it smilingly running towards the holes. 
I cannot keep any grain of sugar
Nor maize but powdered by the same rat. 
I think his days are drawing neatly but quickly, 
For my temper had become temporally but temporarily 
Swollen. I have tried to reconcile 
With the rat in my hut but futile. 
He seemed not concerned by my concerns. 
Perhaps, not a stranger but a troubled neighbour. 
He brings cloth and twigs to his hole. 
And I suspect his intentions. He intends to dragon me. 
Yet troubles me. I had stored some dried seeds
For the next ploughing season,
But I am afraid I won't be able to plant any seed this season. 
He is a haunting stranger.
And I wish he could just perish in his littlest comfort. 
But I hear it would be wise to pet a cat for the rat. 
I am told it would truce my concerns instantly. 
I did. 
And the kitten decided to befriend the intruder. 
And within some time, the rodent, I had discovered, 
Had a family in the neighbour's.
The path between the two is just a mere metre,
And the cat would chase the intruder
But quick to let go. There were a dozen more rats, apparently.
And the cat got summoned to prey on heads of each rat. He too,
Wanted freedom. He wanted to be vegetarian.
Since vegetarians
Are green-hearted beings that have oath-ed against predation.
And so, the rat family expanded as off springs
Conquered our neighbourhood.
And my neighbours would
Frequently trap dozens more. I inquired
From the local Veterinarian who
Then advised me to have a rat farm.
But I resisted the business advice
Because I was nervous
About the real but aware of the ideal. The market for such
Business was viably the fattest ever. However,
It would mean I would be a rat farmer
And I hated that title in the interim. As the tug
Continued, I wandered,
And decided to vacate the hut,
Burn it and build a new one
At the extreme end of the village. But
I had lost all my possessions. Anger
Was the only commodity I had at the time. And so the saga
Continued at the new site.
But I had resolved to befriend the Cat this time.
You know what happened? I wonder what other word I'd rather say...

Onalethuso Ntema
The Voice of a Shadow: Life, Reality & Mental Inspiration Poetry, 2017

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