Margaret Alice Second

(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Always Give All My Love


Came home in a flurry of Arabic, trying to remember
alif is for arnab – rabbit, tuffaah is apple and jamal is
camel and l is leymun – lemon, as soon as the car
stopped I hopped out trying to find the melody at the
back of my mind - then it came, the song today was

“All my love, ta-da-ah-ah-ah-“ I’ve forgotten the words
but the tune is enough, my daughter chased me out of
her room as “the most annoying person” – in this I could
see her love, found part of the kitchen turned into a pearl
by the golden shine of the disappearing sun

As my beloved stayed in the kitchen I stopped singing,
took out my laptop to express my joy in lines that will
not offend anyone whose presence makes me joyous
but who cannot stand the noise of my delight, every-
thing is just so perfect – my beloved stumping around

In a huff, his son’s marks at school leave too much to be
desired, my daughter is not looking for a job as she ought,
the bathroom is caving in and the taxman took all our fix-
it-money – I love this kind of grumble, it means nothing
else is serious enough to call forth his wrath

Looking at my Arabic alphabet – a ghazaal is a gazelle,
shams is the sun – perfect words for these wonderful
objects, though I know so little, there is so much to
make me sing at the top of my lungs – “All my love,
I will always give all my love…”

Submitted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Monday 15 July 2013

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