Our voices are broken
Like the torn skin of a talking drum,
The rhythm of our songs does not fit the
Dance steps of the “bata dancers.”
For we have forgotten the songs of the night crickets
And the way to dance to the drumbeat of the toads.
So, let’s sing our little melodies in our grieved voices,
Like the slow hymns of mourners.
When night came and our father took a long
Stroll with it,
The familiar tunes when mother left our sides,
Like an overripe mango falling from its branch.
The melodies we sang together
Should be the freedom cries of wars our fathers once fought.
They should be the songs in our accents that resonate
Like thunder clapping to the earth.
The melodies should be the plaintive riddles
We try to crack as puzzling questions, like children.
The stories we were told
That quench the dirty perceptions in us.
The melodies we sang together
Should be the elegies
Of withered bodies and broken souls in the middle belt,
And not the acronyms of ombudsmen who sing their love
Songs to buy our dances.
The melodies we sang together
Are the songs composed in our hearts to sing
When life folds in gently as a breeze and shrinks
Like a leaf in the harmattan.










Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels