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Solomon Uhiara: How to Make a Person


I used to be a simple thought, bodiless and without
form. But I had to be made, or there won’t be a world to call mine

I began with an inspiration, a meditative song that
was playing in the backyard of my creator, a mere chorus,
then a springing out of my idea that wreaks out a
momentous smile began

He fetched the brown clay that warmed by the fire place
and something kicked through the stash of instruments
that could turn idols into brave gods
A golden cat with shining eyes crawled out
and my creator sighed. Thoughts about me rushed into
His mind once again. This time, heavy and burdening. This time,
as if my creation needed me completed before the crescent
moon aligned fully with the stars

He went and sat upon a chair and began to weave, to
twist the angles and joints, to plait my veins and arteries,
to paint upon me the colours of my blood. I turned from
a thought into red, blood, atom, oxygen from His lips
caused my stream to bubble under the intense temperature
of his compassion, through the secret power that turns
flesh to salt, and salt to water. The beginning and the end of
of my story, my blood flowed forth into this body of clay
Then silence. Silence and sweet silence. Silence of heavens
and spirits, of new worlds and dead worlds, of dead cultures and
new cultures manufactured within the realms of magic and beauty
Then darkness.

I beheld a great vast darkness. I cried. I screamed and I felt four
arms dragging for me. I heard arguments, voices raised on high,
anger punctuated by comas, dragging themselves against me,
sentences never ending
He will suffer his mother, one said
He is not a curse, the second voice argued
That is the face of my grandfather, the second one continued. I remember
it well. This is the face he carried when he delivered our village from
the hands of the white man.
Are you sure? asked the first one.
I felt two soft hands reach for my twitching
body, then I went into the air.
I am sure, the second one replied in a soothing voice
that penetrated my small heart like cold water.
I am sure God has remembered us.
I shut my lips as a hand slowly padded my back.
Then silence slipped back again, and I heard the first voice say:
Shhh….the child is asleep.
Poetry © Solomon Uhiara
Image by Jens Rasch from Pixabay


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