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Bot lit (A poem)

By Laker Winfred L

They say leave the men alone
Kong iywer manok
Take a break
Keep your knees together
Coo abar wic
Men come like a gigantic headache, a continuous migraine
He is not different from the others
Laco ni maro mon tutwal
He is a player
He loves too many women
He is Casanova all the way through to Casablanca
They’re from the same fabric
The same tailor crafted them
They’re all fundis of things
They’re like the neighborhood tailor
They’re like the automobile mechanic
They’re like the lying carpenter and electrician combined
They’re are not crafted to spin the truth
Wek coo dong
Wek cwar mon alwak

Leave the communal husband alone
Leave these issues of men
They have hurt you enough
They have beat you enough
They have played you enough
They have cheated on you enough
They will cheat again
He will bring another after you
Obe nywari like the rest
You won’t be the last they say
Oromo dong they say
Bed gang kany
No one will chase you from this homestead
Your brothers are too busy drinking and wasting away they won’t help
Your uncles are busy with their second wives going on the third
Your sisters too are suffering in silence
Your mother owns this place through pain
Stay at your parents’ home they say
There is your hut, heal in it they preach
Your father is too old to chastise an abusive man and help in laro lok
Stay here, bed gang kany
You are safe here
Bed gang kany in this homestead
Wabe gwoki maber they say
We will take great care of you, better than that man
But they forget one thing
A woman has needs a father cannot give
A woman has needs a mother’s love cannot give
A woman has needs a sibling’s love cannot fulfill
It’s the warmth of a man, like the smooth warmth coming from fine lit charcoal heat on a cold cold evening delicately soothing the heels
The need to feel his breath in the wee hours of the morning
Before the dawn cracks its drowsy eyes to life
Before the last cock crows and hops off the mango tree
A woman needs to be held tightly and sometimes reassuringly
In the dawn, ku gweno is when you know
ni bot lit
That being a singleton is cold and brutal in the wee hours of the day
That the warmth of a man is not nothing but lots of things
Something that makes you glow brighter than a thousand fireflies and the sun combined in the noon day
Pien i ada, truthfully, we all need cam kwaro
We all need yweyo cet gweno in the dawn
We need that morning warm breeze of love sliding down love’s path
Bot lit kugweno ojowa
Being solo in the wee hours of the dawn is a shrill, cold pain to the heart, soul and to the heart, soul and bone
A woman needs a defender
A woman needs a provider
A woman needs a father to her children
A woman needs a confidant
A woman needs a listener
A woman needs a companion
However accomplished, intelligent and put together
She still needs him
Sometimes she will choose what we don’t see good for her
What she sees in his eyes we don’t see
What she hears in his voice we don’t hear
What she feels in his touch we don’t feel
What she needs from him we don’t know
What she loves about him only she knows
She’s the one that sees the mystical being that he is
She alone knows what augmented powers her prince welds
And she takes him in much to our chagrin
Accepts him publicly whilst the world criticizes in religious unbelief clothed in wigs and robes of the self appointed judiciary
And in all we forget the voice to respect another’s choice and mind our own glaring vices
We forget that one river cannot tell how the riverbed of another is to be laid out
For each of us has our own path curved out differently
No route runs the same traditional course
Each river curves its own path and tributaries and carefully chooses where to deposit its silt
Also kulu pe mol dok itere
A river won’t flow backwards
It chooses to flow onwards regardless of the frightening trammels ahead
Langwidi mwodo cogo nongo geno tere
The hyena continues to chew on bones because it trusts the unbelievable end game of its anatomy
People see love where we don’t see
They find love in unthinkable places, spaces, persons, and hearts
Mar wange pe, love has no eyes, it’s as blind as a blind cave fish!
It sees beyond the rules and norms
It goes beyond the cultural lines, barriers, beliefs, colors, and race
It goes beyond the tribal codes of conduct
Beyond the numbers twelfth, thirteenth even fiftieth.
It takes us to the craziest of places, the yonder of plateaus and valleys
Love knows no bounds and rules all hearts
Love chooses the weirdest of things for us
Love takes us to inconceivable lengths, leaps, bounds, and depths
It makes us echolocate like bats than use our sight
You cant miss out on the fine tunes of love whispering through the air from his sometimes stinky morning breath
Because i ada, in truth, being in love and being loved back is freakishly awesome
It beats being solo dolo and clinging to society’s various values
And i ada bot lit okugweno me ada
Being alone in the cold dawn is a pain beyond compare
Love who you love
Live love to the max while you are still agile
Love while you can for we know not what the after life offers
Love beyond the norms, rules, traditions, numbers and opinions
‘Cause love knows that it takes no prisoners!
So love now and forget the passcodes
Love who you love
Pien bot pe yot
Bot lit!

Note: Part of this work was crafted earlier while I was traveling somewhere. A friend suggested I polish and publish it here.

It’s inspired and drawn from two things. One, a certain popular Aguma song I like called “Bot lit dong okugweno” which literally means being alone or single in the wee hours of the morning is a pain in Acholi.

Secondly, from looking through a different lense. The lense of a bold woman who decided to become wife #13 amidst the judgemental and watchful eye of our society.


Published by Latin Mucwini

I like food. I read. I exercise. And I am Luo. I am on this adventure called writing. Cannot wait to see where this goes

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