A Letter To My Soon To Be Woman

Dear You,

I’ve been having funny dreams lately. I see you walking into my life with parachutes and lots of bags – baggage. Yes, I know we are about to fly, but are you ready to carry my luggage too? I’ve been born and raised in closed boxes and where I am now is a place of retribute; I’m paying tribute to past pains by living in an ocean of good things – happy deeds and poetry.

I’m not sure if anyone taught you how to love. But the man in me is a boy who loves to child. I love playing with mud and dancing to Awilo Longomba in the middle of the quietest nights; the gloom of the earliest mornings. I will sing to you on the first phone call I make you in the morning because life is music and I’m the lyrics. I pray that you are a good dancer. You don’t have to know how to shake your African treasures but at least know how to dance to words. If you could listen to the tunes in my speech, and I, the vibrance of the sound that comes out of your expressions, and laughter, then we are going to Rome together. No, Nairobi; my home. Do you have a home?

I’ve been to many relationships; met bold and beautiful girls and women. It’s nothing to be proud of. Through it all, I learned that there is a selflessness that is needed in order to give someone your heart. Emotions are expensive. To sell them to anyone takes lots of nerve and risk. We love wearing clothes and masks that cover our souls so as to create false impressions of a life we do not own. Well, I don’t want to wear clothes around you. I want to be as naked to you as I am to God, woman.

Please take note of this, that I do not know how to cook very well, but I can survive on my own. I can try hustle a fish inside a pan with a little oil and savor a meal though. You’ll teach me the rest lest I burn our kitchen someday. But God knows I love food. I love ugali and mbuta, with soup. I love rice even though some African men often suggest that it is not food good enough for a man from this continent. Where I come from, there were no puddings and desserts, but once in a while mother pushed in some pawpaw and pineapples after meals. She is a great cook to date. Always reminded us that you must clean your cooking area after you finish with the stove. She should never find any clumps of ugali around the gas if you are the one who did lunch. The consequences were dire.

I love taking long walks. Sometimes when I’m quiet around you, it does not mean that I’m sad about anything. Just be wise enough to read the words of my silence. Sometimes I just want to be looking at you while talking to God in my head, wondering why He had to make your eyes so beautiful. I’m a quiet man who loves his peace and space. And when I’m jumpy and naughty, it is me eating the other half of life.

I’d like to be praying with you. I’m eager to listen to the words you tell God when you are angry with me. Or when you’re happy or sad. Your walk with Him matters to me, probably more than anything else. I haven’t figured out life to its totality myself. No human being really gets there. But I’m hoping to learn from you things that the world has not taught me. So love me like a teacher loves his students.

On some weekends, I will be out with the boys, watching football or making boyish chatter in the streets. I will not be in a position to reply your texts as fast as I’m used to during such moments. At times like those, please don’t think that I’m out with other women. A little jealousy is okay though.

Do not be swayed by my words; I’m stubborn. My tough head will drive you nuts occasionally. I’ll be the last person you want to see or talk to on some days. I have a poor memory and could have the tendency of forgetting some things you tell me, though at least not your birthday. But I’ll forget the date of our first kiss.

I cherish the idea of chivalry. It’s the same way you feel like a woman to serve me food. I’d like to live in your world; plant flowers and make dams on your soil, so I could have a garden to come back to for heavenly fragrance, and a place I could come quench my thirst when life gets me so thirsty. In my mind and heart, there’ll be a fountain of endless waters that wait for you to draw them whenever you feel like. Things won’t always be rosy, I know. They shouldn’t. We haven’t the right to heaven yet.

I’d like to know your language, so I could fathom the best diction to write you poems that would make earthquakes in your heart. I’d like to listen to your many words, and questions, even though I will not have answers to a majority of them. What I want to enjoy is seeing you comfortable in your skin; awashed of insecurities that hinder you from being the best woman alive.

I be brave, you be brave. One of us falls, the other picks them up. God is the center of our crimson chord. I know you want this like I do. Let the poetry begin.


Post Author: Eric Onyango Otieno

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