image source: Daniel Borges via

On the Bus to Ajah

A man sits next to me on the bus to Ajah
I do not greet him
He is dark and grey
And decked out in Islam
When he looks at me he smiles
And I nod in embarrassment
He does not falter
I hold salaam at the tip of my tongue
Held hostage by my bare shoulders
I hide my face behind my hair as it dances in the wind
He speaks
But only to ask if I have change
For his fare
I pay his fare
A man sits next to me on the bus to Ajah
He has no idea how profound he is
He doesn’t look it
He doesn’t sound it
But he feels like my grandfather
They’ve the same aura
Same beautiful charcoal skin
This man FEELS like my grandfather
And I think, wow!
Of all the days I could have met him
Of all the times he could have seen me smile
He chooses a time where I am
Completely my self
And this upsets me
A man sleeps next to me on the bus to Ajah
I watch him closely
I hope he dreams
Of granddaughters
Who love him
Granddaughters who are
Confident in Islam
Granddaughters with warm shoulders
Covered and protected
And scarves that dance in the wind
A man sleeps next to me
On the bus to Ajah
When he opens his eyes
He is just a man
Not my grandfather
Who has long since run out of life
Not a reflection of the me I hope to soon be
Not nostalgia
Not… anything
He is just a man
I wear my hair tied up in scarves
My shoulders beneath warm clothes
I am completely myself
This does not upset me

And so…
When a man sits next to me
On the bus to Ajah
Dark and grey and decked out in Islam,
I greet him with a hearty

Eyiamoni Apeji is a 21 year old writer who has just discovered the joys and secrets of poetry. She currently resides, and writes from Abuja, Nigeria.

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.