This poem by Arinze Ifeakandu is longlisted for BN Poetry Award.

 

I used to like the quiet in this place
Both of us
Seated under the mango tree
Sipping our tea in paper cups
Mum used to come and check on us
—Don’t climb up the mango tree, she said
But after she left you sprinted up
Agile as a monkey
And climbed branch after branch
The sunlight bathing you in the finest gold
And between us the scent of rotting mangoes
I was the fearful little one
Who watched with longing from below
As, balanced on a sturdy branch, you stared down at me
And smiled—You see? You see?
And then, clambering down, we stood side by side
Watching the sunset turn all bloody red

We have grown up too quickly
And I have traveled the world
Tokyo, Japan
Accra, Ghana
America, Everywhere
I have returned to this place
Where the silence now gnaws like rats’ teeth
Gentle-gentle, coolly-coolly
Between us, distance like scented mangoes
Mum’s grave white and marble
Behind the shrubs
Where once we lay side by side
And tasted the fading tea on each other’s tongue
Hands lingering at certain places
Your breath on my neck like warm-water air—
In Memory of a Loving Mother
—Memory like a frozen smile on a fading picture
Like childhood music at Sunday School
La lala
I look up and the flowers are budding between green leafs
Two paper cups lie buried in sand and twigs
I squat to pick them up
But I pick only dust.

DON’T MISS OUT!
Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

228 COMMENTS

  1. I’m more than happy to uncover this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to see new stuff in your web site.

  2. Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using?

    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web
    site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  3. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?

    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to send me an e-mail.

  4. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really
    make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your
    design. Cheers

  5. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉
    I’m going to come back once again since i have book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  7. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this.

    I most certainly will send this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here