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Maama used to lie in every story she
told us
“Us” was bones so she needed flesh on
us
And flesh on us was what my aunty
called growing up-
When your manhood could differentiate
planting a seed from growing a crop.
Growing a crop meant little minds were
put dead-
‘Put dead’, another couple my uncle
believed made you humble.
When at breakfast tea wouldn’t meet
bread
Because nobody cared or dared to
grumble.
So fire burns as a reflection of hell
And at dawn, the wetness of the dew
fresh like paradise
And if at Christmas no clothes came
home, the clothe seller had no more to sell
So excuses from Maama made us form a
compound-‘ex-use’; not needed, so no surprise(s).
Paapa always told the truth in every
story he told us
To him ‘Us’ were flesh and our ages
were bones
So whether we screamed or signaled in
low tones
Paapa was fluid so our gimmicks were
porous.
His wisdom made his scalp white to
his beards
And in all his chess stories the king
is always feared
But the day he decided to lie
The clothe-seller could sell but papa couldn’t buy.
So fire burns to cook that meat
And at dawn the wetness of the
morning dew makes you greet
And if at Christmas no new clothes
came home
Paapa’s grays left with his comb.

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One comment

  • jennifer.dafwat

    October 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    This is deep……(who said poetry must be deep) a reflection of so many stories of hardships coated sweet.

    Reply

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