(Imagined from the marriage between the families of
Elder Ekanem Akpan and the Late Albert Odong.
Family compound, Ikot Eko Ibon, 3rd September 1994)
nwa, see how you are shining
this is time for celebration—
dry your eyes, o!
remind that man you are treasure
our blessings confirm it in His name
you will carry children of children
who will be a light for Him
who will grow tall and big, not skinny things
we are only young to grow old, see
and we wake even older
you are tasting age now
but you have always been our child
and you will remain so
“we old ones sitting on this stool
can see farther than you perched in a tree”
Ima Odong is studying social justice and interdisciplinary writing in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anomaly, Arts & Letters, and Rookie Mag. She is committed to learning how to love and be loved in preparation for a future free of state violence. You can find her on Instagram: @scantima_.