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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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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.

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