When Mother Would Wake Us Up At Four In The Morning

Mother used to say
at four in the morning
to me and my brother
when exams were near:

You have to study.

She used to say that to us
after wiping our face with a
towel drenched in cold water
to drive the sleep away.

When the electricity would go out –
which happened often –
and the backup power was unavailable,
there would be a small gap
filled with darkness
before mother would go out
to fetch a grey oil lamp.

In those precious moments,
I would close my eyes
and try to get some sleep –
humming at the same time,
so that she could listen to me
and believe I hadn’t slept off in the darkness.

When mother would go to the kitchen
to make tea of coffee
after giving us tasks to do,
things to read,
we’d catch insects
and make them fight.

The first insect to back off
would be taken captive in the
little pencil box I would carry to school,
and be subject to extreme exercise during
boring, mathematics classes.

Soon, dawn would break in,
shedding its orange through the large windows
on the grey, cemented floor
of our small room,
and we’d know it was time to get up
and prepare for school.

Back then –
there were no ugly hangovers,
no broken hearts,
no sense of insecurity,
no loneliness;

only lessons to learn,
homework to complete,
flies to catch,
footballs to kick,
food to wait upon.

Life seemed to be fairly easy.

5 thoughts on “When Mother Would Wake Us Up At Four In The Morning”

  1. She used to say that to us
    after wiping our face with a
    towel drenched in cold water
    to drive the sleep away.

    Dedication, and also difficult to handle I imagine. Is it something to be appreciated, or not?

    Like

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