Saturday, 15 November 2014

The first lesson

Image credit

Hassana was a schoolmate, tall, clean-limbed,
dark-skinned with the smooth bloom of a jamun;
a modern Noliwe if you like, undimmed
by a Shaka, a vibrant, stunning woman.

The two-year-old, mischievous toddler son
of our tutor was often at her hip -
Hassana’s I mean, after lessons were done.
A male an almost-part of a female rib.

Is he a relative that she babysits?
I’d asked her once, she’d thoughtfully replied,
‘no, but I like him, and it’s good practice
to work with a child hanging off your side.’

He left one day. I saw her grieve, understood
the first lesson of love, and of motherhood.


  1. Hi Nila - what an evocative poem .. the jamun ... the tie to the tutor, the lure of a baby-child ... and how sad ... I hope all turned out well for her ... cheers Hilary

    1. So do I. Lost touch after school :( Hope your weekend is going well, Hilary.

  2. Lost my lengthy comment...grr! My wi-fi!!

    Lessons in life can be very hard. I soaked up a lot of sadness here in your words Nila.

    If you have time, please pop over to my blog and share a few lines of your writing!! While you're there, copy the URL you see. It should have your country code at the end. Apparently that's how google is doing it these days!

    Denise :)