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(For Ojiugo Onyeukwu, for that lecture on Ratiology)

I warred with a terrorist for ages.
Dreadful of home even after meeting a sage.
I trembled with each appearance of night.
Each layer of darkness dimmed my light.
I knew he was hiding close to my bed.
If only I could fly like a bird.

I couldn’t let it out,
My half eaten fingers and toes,
The fanning by the caterpillar as he chews
The nightmare, fever, prayers.
I even spoke in tongues
The socks and gloves I wear to wade off the attacks.

I later told Mama.
She shed droplets of pure tears.
It’s a small rat, I cried.
Small rats are deadlier than big rats, she sobbed.
Don’t worry I know the language it hears.
I shall order a Rat Bible for it.

Mothers are truly supreme.
My goliath has been crippled.
My David is small but mighty.
Mr small rat is in genesis,
Screaming and vomiting all he’d swallowed,
But I wait for him in revelation.
So even rats read the bible

 

***********

Post image by Andrew Seaman via flickr.

Portrait - DarlingtonAnuonye Chibueze Darlington is a Nigerian writer with an undying passion for fiction and poetry. He’s currently in his final year at Imo State University where he is studying for a degree in English. He had just completed his debut novel, awaiting publication.

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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.

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