RESCUE

I found rags to cover up
I take the lonely road home
Trying to hold back tears
– Mum will be so angry –
I’m at the front door
And I can’t ring the doorbell
The door clicks open and Mum gasps
– What happened? –
– I don’t know –
I sob and drop to my knees
– Don’t worry honey, let me clean you up –
She picks me up and takes
Me to her bathroom, peels
The rags off me, picks out
The dying petals from my hair
And cleans off the ashes from
My body. She gently sponges
Me and shampoos my hair
I let out the tears
– I’m so sorry Mum –
– It’s okay honey, you’ll be fine –
I nod
– I love you, you know that right? –
I nod
When she is done, I look at
The bathroom mirror and touch
My face. I see the glow come into
My eyes, I smile and clean off my tears
– I love you –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

A chip of ice- for mum

Your teardrops would battle fiercely
From the corners of your eyes
They would force their way through
The rigid, unyielding valley of your eyelids
And when they fell
They would stab your cheeks, twist your nose
And sting the recesses of your jaw

Yet when they fell,
They were like the sudden rain that mocked the Sahara
Like the mango tree growing in the Arctic
They were a wonder, and so were you.
For you loved me
Like icy cold, angry waters hammering on rocks
Falling

From unbelievable heights, through the distance between us
Screaming, raging and filled with the frustration
That your decades had fed you
As you crisscrossed naked open seas, flogged by the sun
And through lush green forests
With dwindling mud tracks and filthy streams
Falling

Defying boulders and meanders that had beaten you into thin ice
And kept you on your tiptoes with your back bent
Trying to meet my needs
Through cold, dark nights when you slept
With the biting in your belly
With the uncertainty of worry
Yet you flowed, silent and rapid
Falling,

Through the secrets you swallowed as you went by
And the hurts which never made you cry
And the sorrows you fought to bring forth life
With a charming smile on your face.
You shamed the hardness
That shaped your life
And you crashed against my rocky heart
With the weight of ages of ice
You flogged me, you tore me, you tested me
In my blindness, you were my foe
But I have received the warmth sparked
By the slap of your coldness
And I have melted in love
Your love is hidden in my heart of ice

Ndubuisi Chioma J
© 2019