Three years after our moving,
I return to this house of memory,
to bird bones of itinerant Pigeons
that wrought invasion through the
mouth-open ceiling. Dust rests
everywhere like powdered talc
on my grandmother’s face.
On the wall, cracks sit
fittingly like a primary aesthetic,
exposing dark innards. I have
heard that a house dies when
deprived of human presence.
I imagined it waiting for us
to return —craving for the miracle
of a voice. At the verandah,
I could see my mother dislodging
the intestines of alaran fish,
my sisters at work
invoking amala with trained limbs.
I lift an album of photographs
& amp; negotiate to a picture taken
on the stairs of this house of memory.
*This poem won third place in the 2020 Bloomsday Poetry Competition sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, Nigeria. More details here.