Category: Poetry & Poems

Brown shoes for an interview

These worn brown shoes my brother-in-law wore
do not fit well into feet unused to expensive tastes
I try them on,
to travel into the dream of an office
the shirt collar could tell the tale; of sweat
 sometimes tears of age it hides, a skin of cotton

These yellow socks with green stripes may have been 
part of my niece's school uniform, but upon my feet 
they're worn, toes that have tasted the waste in gullies
and the mud caked crusts in the slum chasing
elusive dreams in an unforgiving city.

These hands have blistered dreams poking out like 
small hills, look at them, could you refuse to accept
that they are fingers known to the pin, and too the
soil?

In the village they chase around small girls, back to class
-they say, whether half naked or clothed, with your soiled manners.

Parents are wilting in the sun, bent on poor fields too proud
to produce sustenance for the whole family
Daddy is at the local bar! Go for him silly boy
Or will you feed on these tired breasts like your little sister
-maybe you'll eat the bottles of cheap liquor upon my 
bedroom floor, where he drops them after draining himself
-like he constantly does in me, ceaselessly like a leaking
water pipe uncaring of the land it wets. 

These dreams quarantined in my heart by invisible walls.
These hands that quake when sobered by the fumes of 
expensive tastes, unlike the politicians, am not rich, neither
do I have untapped loans wetting my appetite, nor the same
strength like mother. She is a pillar, if only she wasn't holding up
a house alone while it crumbles.
Or older sister, here she is. A third one on the way and still she 
finds love where it's been barren to me for half a decade.

So, give me a job. I'll do it to buy shoes my size I can afford.

By: Ndiritu Mwangi

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