THIS TOWN, MY TOWN, STINKS OF EVERYTHING HORRENDOUS
After Flourish Joshua’s “Sango Ota as a Microcosm of Nigeria’s Buffoonery”
there are things you can’t see or say, buried inside someone’s living room
& the deafening wailings by your windowsill at midnight.
a child escapes into absence & it’s for the town’s atonement ritual.
a boy lifts an old woman’s load to her home and he returns no more.
I’ve been here since my eyes fluttered open at the very beginning
& you don’t point fingers at anything with a name.
your laughter can only sound melodious in your father’s house
or no sound escapes the bars of your teeth ever again.
again & again, the housewives, half naked hurry over
to the tenth house on the street to speak hearsay until twilight
& their husbands— jump unto the road for 100 naira for opa eyin & ciga benson,
some spread mats and bury themselves over someone else’s land
& their children overfed by hunger look rather too fit.
So, my father says to never look into a calabash at the t junction
& always mutter a solemn “back to sender”.
Poem © Adedamola Ruqayyah Aderibigbe
Image: 10199873 via Pixabay (remixed)