We are pleased to bring you this poem from Edwin Madu in anticipation of his digital chapbook, POETRY FOR THE MILDLY INSANE, forthcoming from Praxis Magazine Online. Enjoy this taste. Read. Share. Look for the chapbook soon!
The old man warns the children
The kids of the streets
The urchins, so to speak
They are the ones who beg for bread
And are asked if they don’t have mothers
And before they respond
The askers drive off
In their air-conditioned cars with tinted windows.
The old man tells them to stay away
From the thing they call ebo
Eyan o ki n je ebo
Humans are not to eat the food of the gods
But it is here and they are yet to eat
The children respond
Their tummies make sounds in support
The gods will eat when they want to. Leave the yam for them.
If you touch it, lightning will strike you
If you eat it, the sky will turn red and rain down fire on your heads
The children look around
To their left and to their right
They finally look up
To the place the gods are said to dwell
And ignoring the old man’s bellowing,
Each one with a hand in the bowl,
Says “We will share it with you”
And they eat
And there is no thunder
No fiery rain.
The sky stays blue.
Edwin Madu is a Nigerian short story writer and poet. His short stories and poetry have been published in several literary magazines. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He blogs at www.edwinmadu.com and can be found on Twitter (@DwinTheStoic).