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I was bare, assailable, groping
For your wings to run over me
And lace me with warmth.
But you never came.
The night showed me your shadow,
Weeping and groping around my wall.
The wind brought you through the window
And you hovered around the little lamp
And ran the shadows of your fingers over my tender skin.
Until my lips broke the silence of the night,
Touching the roof.

The passing nights taught me
What it means to have one’s root
Plugged away from the earth
And locked in solo wooden houses.
You grow the mouth of a ghost
So that your cry is swept away by the wind.
You become a little stream
Because your eyes are as good as only one thing:
a night-long rain.

When father told me
You were broken into two
And that I can see neither—
One part white smoke
Travelling through the clouds,
The other a body, a strange lifeless body
Dressed in your colours and deserted in spaceless soils—
His tongue tasted like too much salt
Dumped into my ears.
But the passing years taught me what it means:
I became many paintings, plastered on many homes.
I also became many babies, folded into the arms of many women.

 

 

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

About the Author:

Funge-owei Michael Nemine is a graduate of Biochemistry. He is from Bayelsa State, Nigeria but resides and works in Lagos. He spends his leisure blogging and writing poems and short stories. He write poems because he believes there is a medicine in poetry, one that can cure humanity’s seemingly incurable madness.

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3 Responses to “What It Means to Grow Up without You | By Funge-owei Michael Nemine | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Hannah 2017/07/04 at 06:14 #

    I read this aloud. Wow.

  2. Tosin igeleke 2017/07/04 at 17:56 #

    Depth… You know I love this.

  3. Wilson Rukevwe Lucky 2017/07/09 at 23:10 #

    WOW!

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.

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