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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Nigerian Xmas

‎We have bloodied our hands with the lives of innocent chicken. 
Now our lips shine  from mother 's stew

Sunday, December 14, 2014

For women who are tempted to make do

Tell him you've been loved
Deeply and sincerely
That you have had the full loaf of affection
Hot, fresh
Straight from the oven
Tell him you will not scamper for crumbs
Falling off the stingy mouth of a stranger

For Love 
He drags a one-eyed bull to your altar
And tells you to manage
For affection
He offers an ear of shrivelled corn
And says "Well, this is all I have to give"

Tell him
That you are not the household pet
That rejoices at its master's leftover 

Tell him
That you have stood side by side
with the image of the real thing
And you will not grovel
For a mere shadow

Tell him 
That you are not teething at the concept of love
Tell him you're no learner 
That vigils have been kept
Flights have been missed
All for the luxury of your company

Monday, December 8, 2014


Then we would attend service in the village church. We always arrived late because mom would change her outfit fifty times and the gele would not just tie right. Dad would holler and prance, honk the horns and threaten to leave her behind. One year he almost did if mom hadn't chased after us bare-footed,her heely shoes in hand.

We would drive down the winding, laterite path, surrounded by green bushes,characteristic of all places rural. In church we would meet the dancing procession. There would be young men dragging stubborn goats to the altar, some shouldering bags of rice,beans or garri. The women would cause a hold-up in the lines because they wriggled and lowered their waists, rocking tubers of yams in their arms as if they carried babies, for they had become possessed by the spirit of music that flowed from the drums and piano.

We would see grandma at the end of the line, coming along with her ilk: old men and women who dream dreams. Age jerked the motor functions of their bodies which made them dance slow and irregular. 

When the music died, we would smile and return to our seats, sweating and fanning ourselves, and now the altar looked like a lively market place. The goats would be fearful being unused to so great a crowd of witnesses. The chickens manage better, only shrugging their clipped wings from time to time.

The choir would lead us in a hymn and if it weren't for Thanksgiving, we would giggle at the choirmaster's adam apple which seemed to have a mind of its own. But it is thanksgiving. When we sing: "All I have needed Thy hands have provided....", I look at my new shoes and cry.

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