The children called
To be asleep, he pretended
Because he already know what they wanted.
To their mother
He heard them stutter
Hunger… Hunger… Hunger…
Give our dying souls some breads, tea and sweetener
And our schoolbags wrapped beefburger.
To himself, he was angry
Pinched his body in great fury
Felt embarrassed for failing in his duty
He thought of lying still for eternity
Afterall, death is the escape route from everyday woes
As some miserable men’s saying goes.
She knew how he felt
Even without him having the words spelt
Away, she led the children
With some magic words having been spoken
Brought out some moneys she had tied at the helm of her wrapper
To each she gave a paper
As the children scurried
On the road so mired.
Then he heard his voice
As it belled through the passage
He could tell his voice apart
His heart sank
He jumped up like a lamb
Ran as fast as his hungry feet could carry him
He hid himself in the inner room
Behind some old cautains
Then he heard the bang on his door
The kind of bang that annouced the property owner
Onyeka… Onyeka, the banger yelled
My husband is not at home
He left this money for you
Came her gentle voice as the door opened
Is it complete?
Onyeka is a good man… He always provides for his family
The landlord praised
Greet him when he comes
The door was closed.
Thank you my wife
He said as he emerged from his hideout
It’s God my husband said she
But where did you get the money, he asked
Did you borrow it? He added.
No. Came her response.
It was your money.
When you gave me money for soup, I had part of it shelved
When you gave me money for my hair, I saved part of it,
When you gave me money for my clothes, some of them I wouldn’t buy
He was so surprised
So pleased that he hugged and zipped his lips on hers
But why did you do all those things, he asked
Because I know a time like this would come
Yore, I saw the sign
For you, I prayed
It will soon be over.
But before then you have got my back, she concluded.