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Raised arms woman


Come tomorrow, I will die.
Shadow in comparison to real form,
Immersed in water, will my eyes be open
In search of a sign in the sky?
Or will they betray this fantasy and be shut like
an actor in the clutches of a scene?
Will I taste the water, or will some go down my nostrils?
Will this fake death have me prisoner for a few seconds, and will calm flee and flesh seek
Premature resurrection?
Perhaps I’ll find the water warm and welcoming
Or perharps cold and indifferent
To a sinner like many others
In need of a second chance.
Willing participant of this simple yet complex act. Unfazed by its publicty
Or skilled at hiding it well.
Will there be a mischievous stone at the riverbank?
That would cause me to stumble
And temporarily wish to make the river my grave?
Or will my short walk be smooth like a river creature returning home?
In those seconds immersed in flowing water, will I feel the transition to this new life?
Will the sky be clear or randomly dotted by birds?
Oh, for a sign to make a good story!
Pulled out from water,
Will I greedily gasp for air?
Or feign calm, like oxygen I hadn’t missed.   Will I shiver beneath dark clouds?
Or bask in the warmth of the glorious sun?
Will I stand in wait for the others?
Or be permitted to put on warm clothing—
First domestic act of this new life?
And afterwards?
How changed will I be?
Set in default?
Will new mistakes replace old ones?
Will I ask these many question then or will I just know?
Water drops from the kitchen tap—
My only companion in this web of boredom,
I take it as the tick,tick,tick, of my faulty clock,
Countdown to tomorrow,
Host to my death and resurrection.



Image source: Baptism

Obehi Aigiomawu PortraitThis is a beautiful, complex, and perplexing poem. It evokes the questioning uncertainty that dogs that moment right before we take the plunge into an unknown experience. The fear that we could come out of this experience a changed person is as frightening as the fear that we might just remain the same.

Obehi Aig is an 18 year old writer and avid reader, currently studying English and literature in the University of Benin. She enjoys traveling, writing about complex characters and being herself even when people aren’t prepared for it. She iscurrently working on a collection of short stories partly to disprove an online page claiming that “Teen Writing Sucks…

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

15 Responses to “BRITTLE PAPER POET—“Baptism” by Obehi Aig” Subscribe

  1. abigail October 17, 2013 at 4:05 am #

    Obehi expresses our thotswhen we baptise. We wonder if we change automatically and are perplexed when we fall back to old patterns. Truth is change is continuous, and the earlier the better. Goodluck in yOur literary endeavours obehi! Goodluck! Abigail

  2. dee October 17, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Wow. Some depth and intensity. Good job, I could read a thousand meanings to it

  3. Rikimaru Tenchu October 17, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Great Piece and provoking thoughts

  4. elly kingjoe October 17, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Nice construction. Awesome!!

  5. Oluchi October 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I felt entranced for a while there, and I dont even like poetry.
    Got me thinking….

  6. Omon October 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Wao! Nice expression of thoughts! Many just baptise out of obligation, few actually think it through! Welldone obehi.

  7. ruth October 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Nice dearie……always know u have d gift

  8. iyere October 19, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    its so intense, real,n very meticulous. I certainly like dis one.

  9. Toree October 19, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    This would definitely get me seriously thinking now as i prepare for my baptism. And as i’m buried, this poem my mind would chant into resurrection.

  10. samuel October 19, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Nice 1,put together by u..keep it up

  11. Joyce October 28, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    Wow…What an awesome work!!!
    And also filled literary art

  12. Ej_iro October 31, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    Fantastic,awesome,interesting,realistic,…… This is so good and so true….. “you’re a poem goddess already”. can’t wait to read more *giggles*

  13. Ehi November 8, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    waoh, this is beautiful!
    some people are unaware of d meaning,some think its a ceremony,to some,its just ordinary immersion without any significance…thanks for this piece,i’m looking out for more

  14. online success November 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Excellent blog right here! Additionally your web site rather
    a lot up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate link in your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  15. Daniel Silas-Olu January 4, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    i read this piece and thought to myself, is this the Lil Obehi i used to know? But then having met your sisters, it’s obvious where the inspiration came from.You’ve certainly come of age and gradually creating a niche for yourself…this is very impressive from a young mind, to say the least. I see a ‘Chimamanda’ of your generation in you, God bless you.


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