An IED finds it way
Into the mind of a savage sect
And made good use of the emptiness.
Some school girls are bundled up
From their school compound;
Taken for a noisy ride into Sambisa;
From where they will forget
Their mothers’ voices.
On the tube,
There is a very loud lady
Anathematizing the “sharing” of blood
When she is done,
The media goes awash with the sound of
‘Na only you waka come?’
As if it is a joke
To snatch young Nigerian girls
From the four walls of their classroom
Into the coldness of the wilderness
To dwell amongst wild beasts;
To learn new lessons;
In bed at night,
My wife talks of church bombings;
Internally displaced persons;
Slaughtering of school children
And the role of government in all of these.
I pull at the furry hairs
From around her second mouth
To make her twitch.
She falls for it and switches the topic
To very pressing matters of the moment.
The white bearded Mallam
On the rickety bus to Yola
Fixes his eyes on me like some foreigner
I feel the fire all through the trip
And I burn and burn and burn
Like the victims of Nyanya motor park blast.
It feels so good though to know
What it takes to
Be burned into countless degrees.
But after some weeks
I am back to normal again;
I can feel again;
My senses are back again;
And I can hear again
As the presidential pit-bull
And that black parrot;
Begin to mete and dole out
Slippery speeches, imprecise speeches.
That come upon our ears
To push out every substance
From our heads;
Everything except this load of hopelessness.
This bitter bile in our mouth;
This nameless pregnancy that no one would claim.
And then the hash tags;
The media craze;
The count down;
The lady in red
And the red men and women that joins her;
The Michelle Obamas;
The celebrities from across the seas.
The noise, the sweat, the blood.
The bloody thighs of those girls
Their torn undies;
Their wails, their sobs, their pains
To say the least.
The echo, the deafening echo.
And how we wave them all aside
And look the other way.
Like it did not happen at all.
Like it was just a movie scene
Directed by a sadistic director.
We sweep it under the carpet
Like our numerous other national issues.
But I won’t write another story on betrayal.
I won’t write another poem
On how a nation
Could forsake her innocent children.
Instead I would write of a country
Steeling, steeling, steeling itself.
Growing resilient by the day
To any form of emotion;
Becoming many times deadly
Dead to any kind of feeling.
Tearing its soft tissues to pieces;
Shredding them into the minutest units
And building new ones
That will be senseless, lifeless, bloodless
And the noise,
And the noise,
And the noise.