Sunday Mornings

A Poem

By Tshepo Molefe

 

Do you remember those Sunday Mornings?

Where Ntate Thuso was your alarm clock

And waking up meant you have 21 hours and 11 minutes to finish your Monday Morning homework?

 

Do you remember those Sunday Afternoons?

When the crescendos in Marvin Gaye’s songs sang you to irritation

While each key would unlock a bit of your mother’s smile

As she cooks herself into your Sunday kos?

 

I too remember those Sunday afternoons

When Mum used to knit all her dreams

Into those puffy jackets that made us the envy of everyone kid when winter came.

I would like to think it’s her love and Sade’s cadence that kept us warm

 

Every Sunday afternoon, she would listen to Eddie Zondi’s sermons.

Kem would revive her fading hope in any man having enough testosterone

To hold handle all her woman.

On some Sundays, Jill Scott had to visit her ears

To remind her that her life too is golden

 

I hated those Sunday afternoons

When Ma’s milk was half spilled

The doctors said her lactose was past its expiring date

And hers was dawning

The only thing that kept Ma’s spirit high

Was Lionel Richie’s sweet melody

He and Marvin always had keys to unlock Ma’s smile

 

I was helpless in those Sunday mornings

When Jimmy Dludlu’s guitar chords strummed courage into my backbone

The reaper sang too many lullabies in that ward

The smell testified to the traffic heaven got from that place

 

I’ll never forget Ma’s breath coming to its final diminuendo

“Embody me in your pages

“Let me live through your voice

“Let your work be my resurrection and your salvation.”

 

Ma

Paper is too inanimate an object to contain you

Your soul needs flesh

So I sacrifice my left hand

To hold all of your wonder.

If that isn’t enough

Will resting on my tongue suffice?

 

Her wake sounded like Death trying to understand the living’s resilience

Nina’s humming is responsible for that

She sang us back to comfort

Reminding us that Ma’s smile could still be heard in our heart beat

 

I still go through Sunday afternoons

Where Marvin’s orphaned notes would sing Ma’s memory back to life

Such sweet sounds hurt Dad a bit too much

What other choice does he have except to conduct Metro FM back to silence

As he cooks himself into our Sunday kos?