In Praise of Our Absent Father
On the 5th day of a month
made of harmattan and cold sun,
my mother washed dirt off grains of rice,
chopped carrots, onions, pepper
and liver on a slab into rings ---
beating our stomachs to music.
My older sister slit open
the belly of a huge Eja Kote ---
packed out its intestine as one offloads
clothes from a bag. Beads of sweat slipped
down their faces like rain on windshields.
The sitting-room: strands of Juju
melody streamed out of the stereo ---
the house covered with music.
From the kitchen: my mother's efforts smelled
delicious. My mother wore
aso-oke --- she danced, and we ate ---
raising cups in praise of her loneliness.