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Scullery “Boys”: Service in the Kitchen by Makhanda Senzangakhona

Makhanda Senzangakhona | August 20th, 2018 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

When we were scullery “boys”
Washing dishes
Scrambling over
Left-over dishes,
Rockford salads,
Lobster soup,
Snails’ dishes,
Sweating chefs and scurrying
Waiters with waited trays
In and out through swinging doors
How we wished for the tips too!

The marble-eye reminds me
of scullery “boys’ days
Of mash potatoes
and whites’ dancing parties,
In the restaurant after hours
Twirling to the tune of “tikie draai”
and “vastrap”,
They eat mash potato
Ignorant of the hand
That cooked it!

While Mkhulu,
the old one
without original eye,
Ask me not,
Where the artificial sight came,
Drying sweat
Off his marbled eye
thereafter, his finger twigging
he tastes the mash
before again attending
to the eye that
“Sheds no tear, warms for no love,
Glowers with no anger
Burns with no hate”

(Circa) 2010 [ inspired by Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali’s ‘The Marble Eye: Sounds of a Cowhide Drum’]

Poet Bio

Makhanda Senzangakhona is the nome de guerre and pen name for Paul Oupa Serekele Ramachela. The author has retained the use of both names because he does not wish to be lost to his comrades nor become an alien to his family, and relations. Previously published poems, short stories and other narratives have appeared in the following publications, amongst others, Staff Rider, Rixaka, Mayibuye, Mrabulo and Black Letter Media-Poetrypotion.
The author has served in various roles in and outside SA; until recently he was a senior public servant.

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