I remember those early days
Of school uniforms and visiting days
Of seniors and hunger’s medicine–
That potent drug garri.
I remember how we would refuse
The prescription given us from home
Daring to take overdoses
Soaking three or four cups a day.
Garri’s power over stinging belly pain
Was enough to corrupt absolutely.
I recall now how it was when
We took it in groups
Of three, five, or even ten!
We would ready our weapons to do battle
Fork or spoon, whichever suited the user
And begin the contest of gauging
In the bowl, pot or mini-bucket.
Each boy would wait in stressed patience
For his round.
Each boy would search his thoughts
For that perfect method
To separate the grains from the water,
On the journey to the greatest mound.
And now I wonder…
How that era would have been
If we had schooled with girls
If our bellies’ nakedness were uncovered
And we trotted around
Its contents in full glare
Like broken pieces of kuli kuli
Wrapped in a big Santana leather.
You were calm, months ago.
I chased you with glee that time
Enjoying every bit of
You would flap your wings then
With frightened speed
That shot up my desire
To distress you.
Now you have kids
Pretty little chicks
chirping sweet songs.
Now I will not cross your path
Even with my boots on
Whenever you search for that thing
You never seem to find…
With your kids.
The childhood fears
Of your painful beak strike
Is replayed clearly in my mind.
For the love of her chicks
Is the new terrorist
On the block.