Hello Ladies

They asked us out after the age we intended to marry
They begged us to wait until they were stable before we become soul mates.
Our hearts desires to be sisters to our daughters and sons have been crushed
How would our offspring understand us?
We’re left with the gate of loneliness when they leave or when he dies as the case may be.
But this was not how it was written…
They waited together and got their promise
Her clock got better with age even after menopause
She died before him and he was never lonely
So when God is on your matter it becomes an adage
It would always be done deal as long as God is on gear too.

Kapiché?

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

TOES

The slow walk began with a step
As we tethered on to a certain future

We are uncertain

For we could turn back and still be walking in the same direction
All the love we heard mentioned are but echoes of thunder from the cloudy skies that never rain
We wonder
If the future is a path worth threading
When we barely have enough to mend what’s left of our faith

These shoes hurt on many sides
No one should be allowed to walk in our shoes

I have wondered when the colorful pictures we are painted in would stop being a shadow of itself
Seems the only shade of truth is the color of our reflections

But I’ll walk on in those shoes
No matter how tattered they be worn
This I have sworn
To keep believing past where my eyes can see
Till the day comes
When I’ll walk past my failing faith to belief
I’ll keep patching, tailor my feet on a straight path till I am dead
For an uncertain future is brighter than any certain past I’ve thread.

UcTruth
© 2019

Numb

There is a numbness in my head
A searing pain that threatens to strip me of my sanity
And blur my senses of whatever hold on life they have left
So much that my hands cannot thump my chest
Cannot allow me to say it is alright and that I have help within
Groaning out to remind me of who I am and why there’s life in me, but I scream

The numb becomes a pain that only allows me see the trauma
And bitterness and anger I carried for so long
That I could not forgive myself because of
And has now taken control of who I am
The numb has spread to my fingers
I cannot touch my face, to feel the life that lives in me
Cannot feel the warmth on my skin
The blood that flows through my veins

I stagger backwards and I feel a panic rising in my chest
Up to my windpipe threatening to come out through my mouth and when it does
I gasp for air, for a breath
I steady myself by a wall and with wide eyes I take deep breaths
Swallowing as much as I can force down then the tears come
Willingly, patiently, next they become sobs, loud
Choking sobs and in that moment I feel the life seep out of me
Slowly, without a fight and my legs, weak, throb
Throb so bad I can no longer stand so I slide down while hugging myself

It is not going to be alright
It won’t be alright until I see the help right within me
Silently saying ‘it’s okay’ all the while I was fighting with myself
Telling me to stop and allow him fight because my defenses are down
With the numbness and pain
But I could not see it because I took my eyes off him and focused on me
My pain, my panic, my hurt and so it’s not going to be alright
Until I stop fighting alone

IFIOKABASI OKOP
© 2019

Running Back Home

Hey Daddy,

Something I have to tell you

When I was in school I did something you said I shouldn’t do
I dated someone and his name was Curious
Curious was mad and I wanted to be mad with him
But on the road I missed my way to madness and he left me behind
Now I’ve come running back home to you.
Daddy, I’m running back home to you.

Adaobi Chiemelu
© 2019

Ruffian prisoner

I am a man,a loner
A ruffian prisoner
Plagued with joy and sadness
A bird full of feathers and fear

My journey is never left alone
Nor my stay allowed to be
From the east to the west
And from north to south

I am occupied in loneliness
Confused, trapped in emptiness
I am the eagle soaring so high
But sadly caged in the web of the sky

I am a ruffian prisoner
Engrossed deeply in anger
In prayer and in loneliness
I am a man in captivity
Wandering prodigally in freedom
Liberate me,Oh Lord!,liberate me…

Chigekwu David
© 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

The climb

I climbed to my highest for you, knowledge,
I sought for you where dreaded,
I got all papers and left no stone unturned,
But you didn’t tell me the whole truth,
You didn’t tell me that wisdom was your brother,
I ignored his presence and I now I’m in a fix,
You didn’t tell that there’s a consequence for my quest,
With my obsession for you, I was oblivious to all self threats,
Now the clouds are coming and I’m not immuned with wisdom,
But before the rains, let me breath you in for the last time…

Hannah
© 2018

RENEGADE

I hear the door creek,
It’s banged lock.
I wake up from my sleep,
It’s all dark,
I try to move my feet,
It feels stuck.
I try to move my hands,
I feel ropes.

That’s when I realize,
That I am trapped by ropes and chains,
To a chair of endless pain
And I don’t even remember my name.

How can that be,
There has to be a reason why they have me,
No way my name was “Mr. Kidnap me”,
I had to be important of some sort,
That’s why they needed to grab me.

For a moment I listen,
There’s not even the slightest sound in the distance,
For a little while I struggle,
Hopeful to get free from painful sorrow.

Choicelessly, I choose the obvious,
To scream till even the walls decide to pay attention,
Frankly, I don’t even know if walls exist,
Or if this is all just in my head.
How could there be no sound but me in the distance,
How could no one have even heard.

I feel the chains tighten across my chest,
The pines an inch deeper into my legs,
This is hell,
Frankly I’m exhausted,
After all, my blood is all wasted,
Let me just die, after all at burials I always feasted.

And just at this moment,
This moment when I am done fighting and chose to sign out,
This moment when I don’t even have strength to cry out,
This moment I finally choose to die out.

I doubt you would believe it,
At this moment I don’t believe it,
There’s a shadow trying to be reaching in,
Yes a shadow.

Frankly the darkness is now shallow,
The light only my eyes can try to follow,
For there’s just little life the darkness didn’t swallow.

Till this moment,
I didn’t recall,
That till I choose LEFT,
I was the child of THE KING.

National Poet

(c) 2018