Ka wilobo onyongo idye ngeyi
Won oda tin okello dako ma nyen. Anyena ni bole kany, kwica calo kalang okayo. Wange ocung idye wiye, ryeny calo lut-kot. Nyero ne malo, calo cwara ojengo lela ite ode. Alok mara ngo na! Aketo wanga mot calo mac gaa. Koni miti ni obi kwee kene calo nyuka.
Anyena ni tin oroko pipino ki i ode. Abi kayo dano ataa calo wiya obale. In pe ineno ayela pa nyeka?
Anyena ni otingo yen ki i te oda labongo penya. En tamo ni cogo kora kiyubu ki got? Nino caa kong ojubu moko kal ki I cupuriya na. En tamo ni cinga obedo Cuma rego? An Atoo tin abitoo ki cinga I ngut Malaya ma tye ka yaro tyene I dye kal pa cwara ni.
Tong oromo lyec. Abi coke adok woko I gang pa maa. Okeny oloka adoko adonyi idye kal kany. Lacoo ni dong pe nyono oda. Abalo gubu ka tedo dek ma pe ki camo. Idye-woo Okeny gin ki anyena, celo dwon gi malo, ka nyero an. Okeny owaco ni an lalur. Ni apongo coron nono ki cet. Anyena ni bene ocako yeta. Owaco ni duda otum calo ki goyo ki pac. Ni cak kora opoto calo payi-payi mucek onyot. An pe abi bedo acamo yet kany. Maa pwod pe otoo. Abi dok bote ka akuru neno rudi moni ma Okeny obi nywalo ki malaya ne ni.
Ihahaaa! Awinyo ni anyena ni komkara ni dong kok calo ki cwinyo mac i dude. Malaya ni dong otyeko niang ni okeny doge lim nono. Tin dong oniang ni Okeny gubu ne peke. Mutaka ne moo nono pe ito cere. Anyena tin tye ka coko jami ne, kwonge ni ping pe ruu nonge I gang pa Okeny. An pe awaci? Meni pe opwonyi ni ojuk kwee woto ki cet I ot pa maro ne?
Lutuwa, owiny kit ma Okeny tye ka moro koko kede calo latin ma kec neko: “Wilobo onyongo idyer-ngeya. Kadi wa gwok ongeng nyero lur na. Atim ngo? An Okeny abi too labongo wiya? Winy kong kit ma mon yeta kwede. Gi waco ni atingu del nono labongo lee. Ni la memba na nep calo tyen latin kic ma pe kipito maber. Lutuwa, okonya ba ma pwod pii mangic me owango laka.”
When the world squats on your back
The owner of my house has brought a new woman. The new one throws herself here and there like she’s being stung by black ants. Her eyes stand erect on her head, shining like lightning. Her laughter is sharp like my husband has parked a bicycle on her verandah. What can I say? I will keep my eyes switched on like the indicators of a train. Sooner or later, his hot love for her will cool like porridge.
Today, the new one has poked the wasp from its shell. I will sting her without mercy like my head is spoilt. Did you not see the disturbance of my co-wife? She carried firewood from my backyard without asking. Does she think my back bones are made of rock? The other day she scooped millet flour from my pot. Does she think my hands are a ginnery? I, Atoo, will die today with my hands around the neck of the one spreading her legs in my man’s compound.
The spear has overwhelmed the elephant. I will collect myself and return to my mother’s home. Okeny has turned me into an outcast in this household. The man no longer steps in my house. I waste energy cooking food he no longer eats. He and the new one shoot their voices into the night, mocking me. Okeny says my womb is seedless. That I fill the toilet with feces for nothing. The new one has joined him in insulting me too. She says my buttocks are deflated like they were pressed with an iron box. That my breasts have fallen flat on my chest like an overripe pawpaw. I will not sit and eat these insults. My mother is not yet dead. I will go to her and wait to see the twins Okeny and his slut will produce.
Ihahaaaa! I hear the new one now weeps like her buttocks have been set on fire. The loose one has finally realized that the mouth of Okeny is sweet for nothing. She finally discovered that the man has no energy. His car roars but cannot climb the hill. The new one is packing and swearing that the sun will not break and find her in Okeny’s compound. Didn’t I warn you? Didn’t your mother teach you that he who doesn’t heed advice will end up with soiled pants at his in-laws?
Listen my people! Listen to Okeny cry like a starved child: “The world has squatted on my back. Even the rabid dog laughs at my impotence. What should I do? Will I, Okeny, die without a head? Hear how women abuse me! They say I have skin and no muscle. That my member is shaky like the legs of an underfed orphan. Help, before cold water burns me.”
Harriet Anena is a poet and writer from Gulu, Uganda. She is the author of A Nation In Labour – a collection of social conscience poetry. Her poems have also been published by Prairie Schooner, Lawino Magazine, African Writers Trust, African Sun Press, Babishai Niwe Foundation, The Real G Inc, among others. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Ghana Poetry Prize. Anena’s short stories have featured in the Caine Prize anthology 2013, Sooo Many Stories, Bookslive and Writivism, among others. She finds great pleasure in bullying words for poetic pleasure.
- Language : Acholi
- Written & Translated by Harriet Anena