16447003581_3dfb42b8b5_b

Emaciated —
skin pulls tight against bones,
scotched, brown, scaly.
ball is belly,
belly is full,
from eating too little.

Homely —
head is large,
hair is dry grass on arid land,
with patches that tread on patterns of eczema.

Fatigue —
eyes droop and rise,
yellow, watery and bulged,
tears aren’t far, they never are;
mouth opens, as if to wail,
then closes,
to trap air for breathing.

Small hands cling to mother’s neck,
mother grips tight on child’s rear,
mother smiles,
teeth sparsed and stained:
she waits for me to shoot.

 

 

**************

About the Author:

1480672918079Amina Bassey was born on the 13th of April, 1995. She has just completed an OND in Mass Communucation from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria. In 2015, she started a literary blog Novel Afrique with her friends on which she writes the series #LagosDaily. Now, she’s working, and looking for the next thing to write.

Tags: ,

4 Responses to “Shooting Penury | By Amina Bassey | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. wanjala njalale (@wanjalanjalale) 2017/03/03 at 10:55 #

    This is great poetry. I certainly look forward to read more from you.

  2. Salimah Valiani 2017/03/04 at 11:30 #

    Made me tremble! Thank you Anna.

  3. Salimah Valiani 2017/03/04 at 11:32 #

    Oh dear, these autocorrect phones. I wrote Amina, my apologies. Thank you Amina.

  4. Atanda Obatolu 2017/03/05 at 12:11 #

    Finally! I’m excited about this.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The New Things Fall Apart Cover is the Best Thing You’ll See Today

ekpuk-ephemeral-cuba

Things Fall Apart will be 60 next year. And Penguin USA is pulling all the stops to put together a […]

Akwaeke Emezi Awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa Region

akwaeke-emezi-brittle-paper

Akwaeke Emezi has been awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Africa Region) for her entry, “Who Is Like God?” […]

#LetRomeoBreathe: How Young Nigerian Writers Pushed Back against Violent Homophobia

metro

It began hours after the Brunel Prize was awarded to Romeo Oriogun on 2 May. Amidst the explosion of cheers, […]

Opportunity for Nigerian Writers | Enter for the Okike Prize for Literature

Okike-Prize-for-Literature

Another prize awarding literary excellence has surfaced. The Okike Prize for Literature is a new initiative promoting writing by Nigerian […]

An Evening of African Literature | Photos From Abubakar Ibrahim and Sarah L. Manyika’s Washington, DC Reading

It is always a delightful treat to hear African writers in conversation with each other. A few weeks ago, I […]

Dear Tete Petina: “I Am One of Those People Who Once Really Wanted To Win the Caine Prize”

Last week, we debuted an advice column for writers, titled Tete Petina. The column is written by novelist Petina Gappah. […]