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

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colours; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colors; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL – Part 1

The most beautiful girl my experience taught smiled at me today
It has been a long class and I thought I was following till that smile
I have myriads of questions but I fear my mates might have a comic relief
So I try moving my shivering lips apart in an attempt to smile back
My grades are average so why the warmth in her smile?
My grades are average so I must be missing something a brighter student can point out
Soon after class, a tap on my shoulder, and I turn to see a pair of joy-flooded eyes
I can’t hold her gaze, my legs are trembling and I have a sudden urge to pee
I sit down, clamp my legs together with my hands between them
She seem to notice my discomfort so she pulls out my hand and holds
“What have I got myself into”, I think
Without mincing words she tells me she likes me and would want a friend in me
On the 3rd attempt at trying to talk and not recognizing my voice
I clear my throat and all I can mutter is ‘okay’
I could change classes and routes and never see her again but she has other ideas
She walks me home, my palm in hers
With each laughter and chatter, I feel at home
She tells tales too beautiful to be true about herself;
Describes her thoughts of me in ways my exposure has not afforded my imagination
I unpack boxes I leave packed because I was always on the move
Now I am home

ChyD
© 2019

Barren Mother

I have an empty well of a belly.
My womb has known nothing but dying blood all my living years.
I have thought of no one but myself,
Fed no one but myself,
Placed no one before myself,
How do I have a womb except it was made to bear another, and yet
I have no idea what it means to pour a part of myself into another.
“A breast feeding mother?”
That’s a foreign name to me.
“A bread winning father?”
Who dares call me?
I am my own hero,
My own salt,
My own light in a shady place,
Come with me and I’ll lead you into the darkness.
I’d snuff the life out of my light because I do not want to share it.
I’m an evil already happening,
A menace waiting to be uncovered.
My tactics are new everyday
Yet my mind is old.
I am a dirty, dirty soul with a clogged up heart and a rigid body.

This is why I have come before the Rock of Ages,
Before The fire that purifies without consuming to ashes.
My tears produce more salt now than I have ever thought to produce.
I do not know when I ever took lessons from the ocean
But my ill will like waves come crushing over me.
I am caught up in my own dirt web,
Spun in my own fear.
I have come to you as a barren womb in need for a child.
I was born to be mother, now may I know a child?
I have come as a fruitless tree in its season.
As hungry fire,
I’m desperate.
As a docile branch,
I submit.
I accept defeat.
Let your rains fall on this arid land again, Lord.
I admit nothing was ever my own;
As I am left with nothing now I am reminded where I come from.
Give me one child, Yahweh ‘tis All I ask.
Surprise the quick-to-conclude with Your quick-to-deliver.
Let them know when their calling-me-barren tongues call me mother,
Let them know from every side of the flipping coin earth,
That You make the Barren Mother.

Adaobi Chiemelu
(c) 2018

TANTRUMS

Birds sing, we hear chirpings
We built our castle on hopes
Poke fingers into the face of Goliaths.
Sands still stay as our foundation
Flooding our flickering fluid imagination
With the feelings that we could dethrone the gods
Then ramble, raze down the mountain with our tongues
We smile sweetly, seeing how weak we made things with our whining
Boxing, branding, and buying their little conscience
With our endless fits

Chukwu Simeon Chidiebere
© 2018