A Mother’s agony.

Mother was born in the rift of time…
The Elizabethans showed her the way;
Took her shoes away,
And left the Catholic Hymns in her mouth.
Mother don’t know “Hymns do good”
But shoes do take you places where barefoot can’t walk through.
Mother thought Hymns are Eagles,
Eagles that will lift her above stilettos.

Last night in my father’s hot hut,
I wrote Zainab my love, a poem.
This morning, I heard from Hammed who watched it on BBC
She was butchered along with 72 others.
Exactly when she got to the Benue shore.
Just yesterday morning, we laughed;
But today my weeping eyes only remember her smiling face.

Four years ago, it was my sister.
Her final exam at Borno was her final day under a roof.
The rest of her rests are in Sambisa forest.
Father shed tears; mother sang Hymns.
Waiting for the Elizabethan Eagle to deliver her daughter into unto her stroked hand.
Mother doesn’t know that;
You and I are the eagle.

So, I ask: for how long will these gruesome people
Of our motherland continue to slaughter the daughters of our land for their mother to see?

This agony of mother, will be felt by all.
It will continue as a curse,
If you and I continue to sing Hymns without turning Eagles.
If you and I do not emancipate from fate and fears,
Mother’s agony will be felt by all.

Idowu Odeyemi

Idowu Odeyemi is a Nigerian poet, essayist and writer of fiction. He was shortlisted for 2018 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and the 2018 Christopher Okigbo Interuniversity Poetry Festival. He is the winner of the 2018 Ekiti Future Awards Prize for Literature. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Tuck magazine, Kahalari review, Constellate journal, Praxis magazine, Opinion Nigeria among others.


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