Many times, I ponder on the best words to deliver sad
news with minimum effect. In the place I come from, when

a child enquires about the whereabouts of their late father,
mother would say, your papa don travel. & it’ll stretch

into many years until the child exhumes the skeleton
in this syntax of grief. In this poem, I begin the filtration of

vowels from a mixture of constants to compose a new song
for hearts that were forced to memorize the lyrics of

disappearing. I fit no know how to do am well because me sef
don follow drink from this cup. The other day, a

six-year-old tell me say, my mama don die, & I wonder
how grief can sit so beautifully on a child’s face, how it can

harvest the only thing that would’ve bloomed into a garden of laughter
without remorse. Once, I cried under the rain

with the aim of baptizing my distaste, but what’s the profit of baptism
to a drowning man? Dem say time dey heal,

you sure say we no go enter eternity with this ache
wey don become part of us so? Years ago, when you dream about your

family tree, you’d awake with a smile because at evening,
everyone would gather around that rickety old table to

paint the atmosphere with the colours of voices. But lately na
only for dream these people plenty pass. Blame me not

if I say I envy Methuselah. Honestly, life no suppose hard
like this. I don taya to write dis poem even if tomorrow I

go wake up begin another one where grief go be topic sentence.
It is not an abomination to long for longevity,

let’s say: I want to grow old with the ones I love, & like the birds,
watching the yellow of sunrise with the orange of

sunset. It’ll be a good thing to think my tongue as a palette of flavours,
my mouth as a well of health, humming,

whistling the coda of a resurrection song.


*This poem is written in Nigerian and Pidgin English



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