Read: Little Mercies | David Oracle Onotu


Like unwanted weeds irritation grew within me.

“Submissions for the anthology of poetry were requested from junior secondary school students only.”

Leon explained the reason why disqualified had appeared above the poem submitted by a Senior Secondary School literature student of mine.

“The poem could have been exempted from competing moreover there are more appropriate titles than disqualified.” I contended.

“Apologies for the trouble, we will think about it next time.”

“Think about this too,” I said as coolly as I could “the psychological implication it may have on the student.”

“Sorry about that.”

“You are welcome.” I blurted and ended the call wondering if there were better ways I could have handled the issue!

Clicking the play button on my computer set I watched the event of the 15th as one student came up after another to recite a poem. Can a Child’s willpower coupled with action achieve great things? I wondered

“Good morning sir,” a voice broke through my reverie.

“Good morning Godwin. How are you?”

“Very fine sir, I came to say thank you for yesterday.”

I searched his eyes for sincerity; he in turn searched mine for acceptance.


“I had the opportunity to be recognized as a writer, to see students from other schools and also to perform my poem publicly.”

Having said that he sat beside me, his eyes on the computer screen. I thought of the phone call to Leon and realized that other than complaints, one should show gratitude for little mercies.

© David Oracle Onotu


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