The Changed Man

Behold all things have become new
and the old lie in a forgotten heap
childish memories of me digging
underneath my bed on a Sunday morning
for where I’d tossed in my old pair of shoes
nowadays the changed me keep them up neatly
on a rung of wooden stiles the carpenter calls a shoe rack

Bible sleeps on a bedside stool
for a constant bath in Holy words I reach
across to it as often as I go
drink in words that lead, that guides
same letters in the book, a new meaning on the morrow

I remember mom’s narration on Joseph
please tell Dolly Parton
I share same story with her Coat Of Many Colours
only I took mine to many tailors
at the price of my chopped sandal soles
shoes on worn out feet
grazing gravelled road as they bleed
thank God, praise God I sing
because no longer do I handpick rags
all I see are tailor-made suits
my wardrobe is a rainbow of clothes
none having no holes

Nonetheless what I have outgrown is
the filthy old man inside of me
that cheated at elementary school
and purloined mum’s ten kobo
when she was busy at the hearth
One day aunt Betty suffocated my wrists inside mum’s purse
and gave me her two kobo
number eight of the decalogue says, ”Thou shalt not steal”
I hear you ma, my heart thumps with complete remorse
Tell that to the birds, coo that to baby lions
Whisper that in the ears of insensitive politicians
and the starved masses reaping where they did not sow
maybe they’ll pause then retrace their steps
and make way for the new experience.

Rebekah E.
© 2020

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