I was taught to fear my father like I was taught to fear God- #2

my phone beeps

twice

my brother

and my mother

telling me to come quickly to the lounge

to greet my uncle

I have already retired for the evening

sleep making itself comfortable

in my eyes

but I walk to the lounge

and see my aunt and mother,

uncle, brother and cousin

seated,

awaiting my entrance.

I offer greetings

and in the awkward silence

following, fight the temptation to

walk back to my room

But I know the real reason I was called here:

“would you like something to drink?”

My mother exhales in relief.

I walk back in with the kettle and cups

on a tray,

kneel down and make their tea and coffee

and through the corner of my eye

see my brother seated next to my uncle

comfortable on the couch,

my cousin sitting on the adjacent couch

with his headphones around his neck

and I marvel at how well I’ve been trained

to have never considered why

either of them couldn’t have been here,

on their knees,

serving drinks

with sleep in their eyes.

-C.M. 


image source: https://www.posterlounge.co.uk/everyday-life-of-african-women-pr512398.html [copyright-Nangida]

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