Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Photo credit: Sven Brandsma. Source: Unsplash.

We wanted to fill up our shoes

Those ones our mothers bought

To win the battle with our growth

And the jackets too

We waited for the day when their sleeves

Stopped going past our wrist to our fingers

So, we measured our shoulders against each other

We wore our mothers lipstick

And pretended that the house keys

Were the keys to our cars

This was how we forgot to live

Belonging to tomorrow

Wanting so much to fill out our bodies

That we forgot to savour our smallness

We didn’t see how it shielded us

Everyday we died to become

Sold our years for worry

Now that we are, we do not want to be

And whenever we find our face

On the faces of children

We do not know how to tell them

Slow down, today is enough




Ogbonna Ogochukwu is an aspiring Nigerian writer. She is a graduate of Parasitology and Entomology from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. She lives in Lagos with her parents and two siblings.

Tags: ,

6 Responses to “Dying To Become | Ogbonna Ogochukwu | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Kay Ugwuzor March 12, 2020 at 12:10 pm #

    Awwn… this is deep and beautiful

  2. Boja March 14, 2020 at 8:40 am #

    I like the sentiment of this poem, and its simplicity.

  3. Salimah Valiani March 15, 2020 at 10:30 am #

    Gorgeously wistful. Thank you Ogbonna Ogochukwu!

  4. Martins March 16, 2020 at 9:40 am #

    So much memories rekindled. Nice one.

  5. Stanley March 18, 2020 at 12:29 am #

    Thank you Ogbonna Ogochukwu. This is beautiful!

  6. Ilekwachi miracle March 30, 2020 at 6:06 pm #

    Simply BEAUTIFUL!

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."


“I Have Come Undone” | Adichie Writes Moving Statement on Grieving for Her Father

chimamanda Adichie tribute father james nwoye adichie

Chimamanda Adichie’s father, Professor James Nwoye Adichie, died on Wednesday June 10, 2020. Today, the author breaks her silence around […]

Submit to Ouida Books’ New Imprint on Technology in Africa

Ouida Books is Currently Accepting Submissions for Her New Imprint LWM (2)

Lagos-based publishing press Ouida Books is accepting submissions for its new imprint LWM. LMW is the third addition to the […]

Wayétu Moore Announces New Novel Exploring Mami Wata Mythology

Wayétu Moore Announces New Novel Exploring Mami Wata Mythology

Liberian-American author Wayétu Moore is staying busy and productive. Barely a year since the release of her widely praised memoir […]

Tsitsi Dangarembga Petitions Parliament of Zimbabwe for Removal of Health Minister Obadiah Moyo

Tsitsi Dangarembga Obadiah Moyo (1)

On June 19, 2020, Zimbabwe Health Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested on corruption charges for engaging in an illegal 60 […]

Is This Us? The Many Holes in Nigerian-American Portrayal of the Nigerian Experience | Damilola Oyedele | Essay

Yvonne Orji Nigerian Americans about Nigeria

A few weeks ago, as I watched Yvonne Orji explain Nigerian slang to her audience, feelings I couldn’t immediately name […]

The Meaning of Guernica | Umar Abubakar Sidi | Poetry

Guernica Umar Abubakar Sidi poetry (1)

  Guernica Celebration of modern fascism Horrific devastation in the Basque town of Guernica Monochrome grisaille Crawling analysis of the […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.