Varsha 2019 Issue, Poems - Mugabi Byenkya




By Mugabi Byenkya


My mother told me not to go
I should have listened
instead I chose to forego
heeding her
now my tear drops glisten
like reflections because I'm missing





My mother told me not to go
I should have listened
to bask in the glory of your presence
for a couple hours more
to delay the inevitable gouging out of my core
to dam the tears welling
ready to burst out the door
of my eyes
as a pearly glaze forms over my gaze

I cry

I cry

I cry


As I think about you and that night
cancer had got to your brain
you didn't recognize me
cancer had got to your brain
you thought poop jokes were funny
my mother told me not to go
I should have listened.


but I didn't.



Mugabi Byenkya is a writer, poet and occasional rapper. He was born in Nigeria, to Ugandan parents and is currently based between Kampala and Toronto. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015. His essays and poetry have been published in The Good Men Project, Amethyst Magazine, African Writer, Arts and Africa and The Kalahari Review, among others. He has been interviewed on Voice of America, NTV Uganda, Africa In Dialogue and Brittle Paper, among other media outlets. Mugabi's writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. His debut experimental epistolary speculative novel, ‘Dear Philomena,’ was published in 2017 and he recently concluded a 42 city, 4 country North America/East Africa tour in support of this. In 2018, Mugabi was named one of 56 writers who has contributed to his native Uganda’s literary heritage in the 56 years since independence by Writivism. Dear Philomena, was named a Ugandan bestseller in the same year.


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