POSTED 07/01/2018 12:57
We danced in the rain
fleeing under our zincked roof only when the thunder roared
like we stepped on its tail
as the soles of our feet pattered on the earth
Mother would make supper
calling out to me, "Ghenerho. You'll get cold!"
And when I'll return she'll roll up her age-dyed wrapper over me
while I shivered on the spread mat on the cement floor,
lit oil lamp beside, warmth
slowly winning me over to sleep
while mother's mortar would echoe into the night
accompanied by rueful songs in her mouth
searching for father in the belly of the forest who had gone hunting.
Innocence wanted to be naked
It wanted to walk the paths bare, free
Youth was not envied
for its burden were shared among scoffers that guffawed
when dreams reaching high to the sky like bamboos
was met with marchets at the stem
"See who is dreaming about the white man's land! Who left among our
brothers and ever returned?"
I was contented to climb up mother's
laps, head buried in her cleavage
that never ran dry of love and lullabies that left me never to be weaned
when she sat on her wooden stool slowly rocking me away
with my names on her lips
Lost in the smoking firewoods
under the pot of the evening soup.
She dreamt of me, her proud
tears like palm kernel oil on my head.
I had not heard the lies the mirror told
Every nerve of my body motioned
to rhythms pure and true
and then strands of hair jutted out
my tender skin like grass after first rain
The big boys that no longer swim
naked in the stream laughed
"You are becoming a man Ghenerho"
and the girls giggling with waterpots on their heads
trekked down my navel
and innocence was imprisoned
by realization with my hands making for a quick cover
and sadly behind underwears and pants
never wished to be seen free again.
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