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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.

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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.

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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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