When it clocks 5pm

Everything seems to stop

Everyone rushes to make things right

Picking up filth covered socks

Setting the table right

Everywhere needs to be perfect

She doesn’t like her house dirty

But we like to play

By 5pm

We will hear her exchange pleasantries

With our neighbours down the street

Mum is back!

We’ll all echo

Each person running off to settle their tasks.



The house is half a mess

Calling out our names

She’ll settle on the biggest chair

There’s something about her presence

The room is tense

I liked this time of the day

The time I get to see her up close

She isn’t like other women

I know because none of my classmates

Could relate with my tales of her

There’s something about her

How she fill up the room

But still leave enough air for you to survive

I wondered what it was like to be her

She wouldn’t talk about herself

So I cooked up stories in my head


When night sets in

After we’ve all consumed dinner made by my big sister

She’ll tell us about her plans for tomorrow

Her goals for the month

When our school fees will be paid

She is a go getter

She drafts out plans

And walks us through

Treating us like adults

She never kept us in the dark


I remember everything vividly

How her mouth quivered when she yelled out instructions for the day

“Close the door when you go out”

“If we get robbed because of your carelessness”,

“That will be the end of your education”

She would yell while she checked out her car

I loved the power she possessed


On that fateful day

When she came home earlier than 5pm

I knew something was off

She wasn’t the woman I grew up to know

There was uneasiness in the way she moved and talked

Something was wrong

Something had always been wrong

I chose to see what I wanted

But there was no hiding anymore

She was sick

But she won’t get help

Because she is mother

She never gets help


The hallucinations won’t stop

She heard voices we couldn’t

From her mumbling

I could tell what was going on in her head

I had perfected the act of mind reading

Those voices tore her apart with no mercy


As each day passes

And it sure did

The world didn’t stop to grieve what I had lost

Schizophrenia took the best of her

She wasn’t the woman I grew up to know

And it hurts so much

That I couldn’t do anything to help her

All I did

All I could do

Was to watch over her while she slept

And pray to God

That she lives a day more

Selfish, I know

But she was all I ever had

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