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Som O. Adedayo: Flowers

“why do we always call the flowers fragile?
have we forgotten they survive storms the most?”


—to momma

flowers grow best on dunghills,
but the lush garden of flowers
by the brook is a perfect sight.
the butterflies beg for entrance.
i attend a church where they call

the portrait of a bearded man God.
i don’t disagree but when i pray in God’s name
i always hear the sky whisper God is Grace.
why do we always call the flowers fragile?
have we forgotten they survive storms the most?

call me what you will.
i want to be the keeper of flowers,
cleaning the harmattan dust off them,
warming them in my wings through the cold.

every day my momma looks uglier than
her maiden pictures. it is good habit how
the fish hides her wounds beneath water.
yet beside her permanent smiles
i also want to see the sunshine cry.

momma, don’t always smile before the lens;
tears do not stain films.
remove the headgear,
let the world see where the braids itch.

some wounds do not heal in the dark.
set fire to all the shadows papa named love;
they won’t be there through the dark.
momma, have i told how i cry

because i can’t come into your heart?
i’m scared of stumbling on dried skeletons.
not only light conquers darkness.
pick up your heart neatly from the broken china &
walk hand-in-hand with the rainbow.

mom reeks of death

i do not want to sing about the drenched
bird on a lonely branch, shivering & begging
the rainbow to take her home,
every sweep of breeze depositing
fear in her feathers,
but then my mom has stayed on this branch
for only-God-knows-how-long.
though her chirping is too weak,
yet seeing the blood of Christ i could sense
the colour for Christmas is red. at nights,
she seeks comfort for her bruised soles
in her King James version of the Bible,
the same book dad claims it gives him
the poetic license to bend her body into water,
bearing frozen dreams underneath.
when i look straight into her eyes
all i hear is her bones reeking of silence,
of fear,
of death,
but nowadays, if I’m not sure of anything,
with the way she rubs lipstick upon her
chirped lips,
i’m sure the radio will soon tell her
the tale of how to make up her scars
to blossom into Philippine roses.

Poems © Som O. Adedayo
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Som O. Adedayo
Som O. Adedayo
Som O. Adedayo writes from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun state, Nigeria, where he currently studies English Language. His story, Madam Philomena’s Memoir, whch shall be published in the Writivism annual anthology, was recently longlisted for the 2019 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction. He is a journalist at the award-winning news agency of the English department, OAU; Nasels Communication Bureau. Some of his works have appeared on the internet. He tweets @som_august and poses on Instagram as som_august and pries into peoples' timelines on Facebook as Som Adedayo.

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