Mother to Son:
“Boy, yuh bored, nuh?”
He snorts but doesn’t look up.
“If yuh bored, go and read a book! You can travel round the world in a book.”
The boy throws away the string. “OK, Mummie.”
Years later in Foreign, one January evening with the mercury sinking two degrees below zero, she’s stirring up marrow-heating soup with provisions and dumplings. He’s in his mid-teens and she refuses to buy more than one T.V., which she locks and keys in her bedroom.
“You won’t be like the typical American pickney*, nursing on no boob tube. This thing dims out yuh wits. It too visual. It show and tell you what to think, so yuh don’t even use your imagination to picture what nice piece a chicken would look like, smell like. I want yuh wonder and envision what a Andorran sunset look like, why blood deh in George Jackson eye, what Gambia mussy** feel like to Kunta Kinte. I don’t want yuh depend on the T.V. to show you.”
“Mummie, everybody I know in school got a T.V. in their room. We living in Foreign now. Is Foreign.”
“And wha happen to that? Well then read a foreign book, then. You not getting no T.V. in yuh room. Hear me, GO READ A BOOK!”
Copyright 2010 K.Omodele