There’s a Yoruba adage living under her tongue.
You listen to this.
We don’t talk much in our place
Before you wish my father farewell remember that
My mother grew a mustache before the fair;
First trade fair is always romantic.
A single mother of five at the center of a bidding tussles.
She always knew how to wriggle her way to the highest bidder.
Before she chose a father for us,
She’d ask me to run home and measure the length of our blanket.
Maybe it will cover our favorite shame, Hers.
The truth is
The demise of a husband spells doom for a child
Lurking behind a church named Your Father’s House.
Of course my neighbor’s niece also called us names
& my cousin traded words with my sister at the fair.
I tell you,
Hurling is a bullying bastard.
It topples the awning on your head.
Probably prayers weren’t enough
Because we open our tongue to call God our Father.
Perhaps God isn’t a man, because my mother keeps searching for one.
This is the first of Nigerian Voices Today, a 7-week series featuring young Nigerian poets, curated by Babatunde Babafemi.