Peter J White

Finger Lickin' Good

Old Mrs Masuku’s a mealie cob vendor
Down at the gates of the new football ground,
(Order by phone, I’ll give you her number) ,
Where customers come and stand all around
Near the rusty old drum fired up daily at dawn,
Some coming to buy, some just to keep warm.

Each pip must, she says, leave sweet milk on her nail
When bought from the market not one hour before
And pressed with her thumb, not dented or stale.
So choose your own breakfast, it won’t cost you more,
Then five or ten minutes baked golden and cream,
Khangela! they’re ready and fit for a queen.

She told me one time, when I found her alone,
How two daughters had married and both died of AIDS,
Leaving seven grandchildren, two more of her own
With no prospects at all, but as gardeners or maids;
And resolved there and then with steel in her eye,
To put them through school; to help them or die.

Sometimes in winter when fingers near freeze
And pancake with lemon is such a commotion,
Hot mealies in hand are simply a breeze,
And Mama Masuku’s are poems in motion.
My kids eat two each with best margerine;
Won’t you help us support her resolute dream?

Listen to this poem:
Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rating Card

5 out of 5
0 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about Finger Lickin' Good by Peter J White

  • Sandra MartyresSandra Martyres (4/14/2009 3:10:00 AM)

    This mealie cob vendor is one special woman...very well written poem

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Reshma Ramesh (3/31/2009 9:07:00 AM)

    Mrs Masuku is a fighter..............good dedication.....well penned

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.

Rating Card

5 out of 5
0 total ratings
rate this poem

Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?