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Omodero David Oghenekaro: For a Tenderness Buried beneath Scars

For a Tenderness Buried beneath Scars

There is a tenderness we often do not feel
Sprawling gently +++++its tendrilled limbs
Across the trellis erected between
A lonely man’s heart & the boundary line
Over which the fire-armed feet
Of libido crosses to raze down everything green.
& When the wind begins to rustle the tree leaves
Calling forth the war that is to come—
A war in which there is only one fighter
One hungry man stripped bare by desire
gnawing like a forsaken beast, on the swaying fruits of his tree—
They, the bright green tender fingers of innocence,
Begin to recede into their coils of grief
From which they would emerge shortly afterwards singed.
This is tenderness. This is innocence.

I have known this feel. Yes. I have memorized almost too well how it comes
The way the hot breeze sidles+++ visibly over the skin of a sea,
Leaving wave-like footprints in their continuance,
To report back to the storm of my tenderness.+++++ Or my toughness
Or my unbelief of the tales told by++++ bodies
Whispering at the base of their voices
In the most quiet place of the waters+++++ where everything that was ever lost
Takes final anchorage
The mast of a once mighty ship,++++++ still swaying,
but against a new wind deadened by the inertia of water—The secret torn flag of a salty grief
This is tenderness. This is innocence.

Picture this:
When I was blooming like a cyst+++++ in my mother’s womb, I sighed
When I was forced out onto the spiky tongue of reality, I cried

& When I had to be a hedgehog+++++ to walk through a forest of thorns
I acquired again the grace of sighing without crying

Grace being the secret uterus embedded+++++ in another uterus
Warming my blood+++++ for the harvest of splinters to come

Grace being the foremost uterus+++++ in which my father—
A flowerpot of thorns. +++++blooming towards the mouth of the sun—
Pierced the uncracked egg that was my mother to hatch me, a thorn

Grace being God.+++++ gifting me a tongue that responded to seasons
So that once unwetted in spring, It shriveled+++++ into a brittle leaf that sang

Of the tenderness buried beneath this embodiment of scars
for which I am known—
A living sacrifice reluctant to the idea of being set on fire:
This is tenderness. This is innocence.
Poem © Omodero David Oghenekaro
Image by Cdd20 from Pixabay (modified)

Omodero David Oghenekaro
Omodero David Oghenekaro
Omodero David Oghenekaro is a seventeen-year-old Nigerian writer who lives in Rivers State where he writes from. He's fascinated by the way good Poetry stylistically takes on themes as Loss, Longing and Familial love. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Pride magazine Nigeria, Palette Poetry, Nantygreens, Agbowo magazine and elsewhere. He tweets @OmoderoDavidOghenekaro


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