Odambo caned his wife
He caned her so well in the hour of yesterday
It was his wife he caned in that hour as shy
And when it was dawn
He caned her!
The cane was only meant for Anjeli his wife
And she did not cry except when she was not caned
Even if she cried a little,
It was Odambo her husband who caned her
Is it not a husband who canes his wife?
But why does the chief take Odambo to court for tears he never saw?
To do what, when Odambo simply caned his own wife and not a neighbour’s?
Was it not in his house hugged in midnight dusk where he caned his wife?
Did anyone see Anjeli’s feet race to the chief?
Had it not been for the sharp-eared neighbour whose sleep ran away from his eyes at midnight,
Would Anjeli’s cry still reach the chief’s baraza?
You who rushes with word from one’s home to the chief
You whose ear sleeps naked without blanket
Please stuff cotton in those ear holes
You whose mouth is quick to speak
Ask before you speak
Or tack your tongue in your mouth and sew it with sisal fibre
It is abundant behind your house.
What productive cane kills a woman?
Has any burial been conducted in Mumbo village of a woman caned in such manner and died?
Has any woman limped or danced at songs weirdly from being caned?
Would a mere cane lash a woman from sunrise to sunset
Or simply one minute tripled between breaks?
See how those wives gracefully prepare porridge to those husbands in the wakes or new dawns
See how graceful their children are!
Odambo is only a good husband who makes his home filled with humanity
Let him cane Anjeli!
Odambo had always caned his wife,
For seasons he has caned her
And Anjeli has not taken word to her mother
Her father and sons of his father have never stormed Odambo’s home because their daughter was caned
Except in one season a decade away when Odambo failed to cane her for days that followed each other successively
And that month,
Anjeli had packed all her belonging and stormed out of Odambo’s home into his father’s house with tears, her nose kissing the sky.
And when his father asked why a migogo was back home,
Words had refused to come out except through her mother’s.
Today she was back and was happy to be caned!
Keep quiet you you reporter and let Odambo cane his wife if that wife has not sprinted to your patio pouring tears before your door!