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LEAVING AND RETURNING

They are here, seated in the hollow just below my collarbone in my chest. Demanding for freedom.
They bounce about inside, seeking the tiniest trigger to kwekalakasa as tears, midspeech.
They are here:
I hear them, rumbling at the back of my head like grumbling clouds,
though, the rains have not fallen yet.
There were reports of rain on the southern part of Kampala yesterday with hail storms even. But, that rain has not fallen here yet.
They sit heavily on my chest, just at the point where my chin touches my chest like a heavy stone holding one end of a camper’s tent down in windy weather.
Sometimes, it is the subtle background F minor melody in a piece of music that catches my ear and sticks pins into my heart.
At the end of a long day, I sometimes feel the sweaty, stickiness of my left and right buttocks rubbing against each other.
Like the weight of words unspoken,
The Pain of catching a fingertip in a door hinge.
It is the loud silence of being left behind, that I know so well.
An explosion of color Rays behind the eyes when you realise that a loved one is gone!. It is the rusty aftertaste of betrayal at the back of the tongue, the cotton feeling in the head after one too many tears have raced down the face.:
Whilst returning from the market the other day, I saw him drive by. However, It was another car in the traffic. But, it interrupted my speech during my phone call about work with a broken musical note in F minor.
I was speaking in a quiet D or C monotone; I am not sure which of the two tones it was. For, the fumes from another exhausted car flooded my face, choking me in that time.
So, I remember choking instead, wanting to stop breathing, just for a moment, until cleaner air was available to inhale.
They are here, these heaps and heaps of feelings as numerous as Myera of matooke at the Mudala of mama Dausi.
Mama Dausi is very vigilant about her matooke fingers. She is never shy to ask. In her tittering voice, she calls out to me as I rush by her stall to my busy day ahead,
“Mukwano, Leero Tolye ku Tooke,”
I pause midstep, suddenly having to consider my supper today;
“Simanyi,” I reply,
She takes my ‘Don’t know’ as a ‘yes!’.
She announces that she will peel them, these feelings
Have them ready for me to face when I return.
Perchance!
She even knows my pattern of leaving and returning, leaving and returning.
“Kale, oja gasanga nga mawaate”. She adds.
These feelings all begun with a simple question many days back;
With whom shall I leave my children behind when I travel?
Leave with the changing tides after the riverbanks are flooded with debris and flush harvests of time.

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Written by Acaye Pamela

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