The first time I experienced pain
I don’t remember.
As an adult, it stays with you, grows with you,
Like a seed to a plant.
Was it perhaps, when I first, eagerly learnt to walk
or crawl and in pure baby-like fashion,
fell to the ground and sobbed for a saviour?
Or was it when my first colourful three tier Ice cream
strawberry blueberry and vanilla scoops
placed on top of each other in a sweet sugar cone,
melted and fell to the ground?
Or was it perhaps, when I learnt how to ride my first bicycle,
Fell to the ground and scraped my knee?
I don’t remember.

The first time I developed an intense love for animals.
I don’t remember.
Maybe it was conceived,
through my first warm cat cuddle?
Or when I was gifted
my first soft & warm Elephant Plush?
Or when
I became enchanted by the echoes of the singing
hummingbirds on my window sill?
The first time I visited a circus,
Was it the calling of sorrow,
in the eyes of the caged lions,
Whose roars echoed for the sounds
of nature’s freedom,
not for the approval of a roaring audience?
It’s a love
I developed to never forget.
Yet, I don’t remember.

I remember.
Those delicious chocolates that smelt of coconut
but tasted like heaven on the tongue,
straight from chocolate heaven.
It eased the whip of my Mother’s scolding.
The mouth-watering Turkish delights stuck in the bottom corner
of the already stocked draw,
comforted and wiped the tears from my eyes.
Each item, he would break in half
He would always give me the bigger half.
As if I carried a bigger burden.

My first flower girl dress, I remember.
Made of white and gold fabric,
the crown looked like something
out of a Princess storybook
lived in my head, in my own imaginary kingdom,
I twirled like the flowers, twirled in the wind.
Soft and gracious, like a swan orbiting on her river.
I remember

The frightening reality of a six-year old girl,
Safely nestled in her Mother’s arms, on her first big wheel ride,
swinging from side to side, in the open air,
amongst the dark blanket of the night sky,
dusted with gold lamps.
Below, I saw a world full of light, hope and love
I remember.

I have been told that my great grandmother
was famous for her scrumptious, roti recipe.
She taught my grandmother,
who taught my Mother our protected family secrets.
From spongy banana fritters to syrupy koeksisters.
My mother has stored, all of her kitchen secrets
Within me.
Like an ancient scroll, these secrets will be passed down
to my future generations.

My Grandfather
was a “Carlos Santana”
back in his day.
his dusty, old brown acoustic guitar
sitting in the corner of his room,
the sound of an unnamed but familiar tune, he would play.
Beautifully and patiently strum the cords of his tired guitar,
with his wrinkled fingers,
as I would stare at him in awe
of his forgotten talent.