Let Me Waste Your Time

One day when I was lighting the charcoal stove, I landed on a poem by Erapu Laban titled, “I beg you”. Once I read the first stanza, I was like, ‘damn!’ It was that good! Here it is:

I beg you,

If you feel something like love for me,

Not to let me know it now

When I feel nothing so certain for you.

Wait until you’ve conquered my pride

By pretending not to care for me.

(First stanza, extract from “I beg you” by Laban Erapu)

As the fire threatened to die out in the charcoal stove, I kept feeding it with other papers. By the time I read the last line of the poem, I had made up my mind that the paper on which the poem was written was not going to get burned. And so I kept it. 

I still have it somewhere in my things, and I accidentally land on it from time to time. 

Unlike my sister who took literature in Highschool, I took French; for six years. However, you might find it amusing that students from all classes always came to me for assistance in both English and Literature. Matter of fact, in 2016 when I was in Senoir six (S.6), some of my classmates would bring to me their literature novels and I would read and summarize them on their behalf. 

Unbeknownst to most people is the fact that I actually don’t love poetry, (-except for Laban’s poem, of course). Perhaps because poems are far too superior for me to comprehend? Though in my defense, poems are not clear. 99.9% of poems have hidden meanings and a lot of symbolism in them. I have actually come across poems where each line has it’s own individual meaning. Like, what is that?! Why don’t poems have the directness and straightforwardness of stories. 

I am of child-bearing age but I still don’t understand what people see in Shakespeare’s poems. (I know I would get stoned by his fans, so let me not dwell on it). 

Not only did I hate poems, but I actually believed that I was not a poet. However, inspite of both those facts, it is laughable that I spent most of my time in primary and secondary school, writing and presenting poems. Many of them even got published in the school magazines. I guess I just didn’t know how to say ‘no’ because each time someone asked, I would always say yes. 

More to that, I wrote poems for lovers, even when I didn’t know what it meant to be in love. I recall when I was approached by my sister’s classmate to write a poem for her boyfriend. This was not just any couple. It was the most powerful couple in the school. Matter of fact, everyone thought that they would end up together;-me inclusive. Sadly, they didn’t. My view is that the guy was the problem, with commitment issues. Fortunate for the girl, she found someone willing to marry her and now they’re happily married with a child. Perhaps it’s because of this that I don’t believe in young highschool love. I mean, if those two could break up, what chance has anyone else?

Later when I fell in love after highschool, I believed I had the power to magically turn into a poet. I would stay up late in the night trying to write beautiful poems…(but I don’t think I ever finished any of them). I don’t think I have ever written and given a poem to someone that I love. I bet my husband will be the first.

The only poem I ever wrote and finished at campus was for my friend who wanted it for her boyfriend. (They’re not together anymore either). 

I know what you’re thinking, but let me assure you that my poems were not the cause for the breakups in both scenarios. However, if you were planning to come to me for a poem, I heavily discourage it. I have not written a poem for a couple that got married, -they always break up. 

Conclusively, I must admit that I don’t know why I started writing this story. Neither do I know what I wanted you to pick from it. 

This is what I am like on some days. I just feel like writing; and so I write. Sometimes what I write is good, other times it isn’t. In both scenarios, it is my readers who suffer. And for that, I love you! 

O wait. I have remembered. The lesson from today’s story is from Laban’s poem. There is so much wisdom in that first stanza. 

Women, we need to stop throwing ourselves at men. Have some dignity. If a man loves you, he will pursue you. 

What if he doesn’t? Well, you nurse your wounded pride and move on. Ce n’est pas la fin du monde. 

The End!

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  1. Barbara

    March 3, 2024 at 3:03 pm

    Because girl whichever couple you write for a poem doesn’t end together 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      March 3, 2024 at 8:52 pm

      It’s the unfortunate truth my dear😄😄

  2. Julius Natuhwera

    March 4, 2024 at 10:09 pm

    Your poems ruined people’s relationships. 🤣🤣
    Of course I had to say it you know that. But yeah. That’s it with poetry. I guess it’s because we all learnt from the same books and material of the first people to do poetry. And so we all want to sound as intelligent or ride on their intelligence. They have become the standard by which many things are done and judged.
    But, there’s no demon in writing a simple meaningful and easy to understand poem. I mean, in the real world today, the easier it is to understand the better. If you find a child that reads such things in this or the next generation, just know they’re an old spirit. This and the next generation won’t give damn about that kind of thing.
    Simply connect with your audience. Be simple and clear. Unless you’re giving tips on how to get rich.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      March 7, 2024 at 9:37 am

      Naye banange, that first line.

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