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The Little I Remember 

Ayomide Bayowa

 

“The night is young, so please go home, children playing start to go; it’s a massacre.”- Molawa

EbaOdan of centuries rust on roofs and mountains plant meadow set stories by the incomplete teeth of old townsmen:

“Whenever you get tired of the dust of the port, come with me; I would take you to one of the heights where you’d see clearly–the rusts of Bodiia huts that transmute rainfalls into iron ores and slender into the hands of outstretched kids beneath gutters.”

I was born through a sliced belly for some razor surgeries on my cheeks.

Where I lived, unkempt boys grew up as gangs of soiled puddles stationed according to desperations at every alley.

Only a few slept in parental sacs at night. I, a naive boy in this stunting life always knew that–if I were to be inside a sac, things could’ve been better; like growing up to believe I’m safe in a kangaroo’s surgery pocket.

Every morning was a golden voice of unlettered women uplifting choruses of pap// butter// bread// hustles of herbal mixtures on their heads.

One morning, one of the voices stopped by my grandpa’s wooden bench.

Her eyelids were hues of races conforming to the placards of racist attacks on blacks in the United States, on the newspaper in grandpa’s hand.

She shook the south-western world in the plastic with a power clatter of womanism and functionalism, as if a gulp of it will bestow grandpa a spare life.

Green boys kicked balls and bags of dust at any open piece of the earth//the girls clutched their warm hearts to the arrangement of pepper in metal trays, at their mother’s portable shops // & mobile battery (re)charging workshops lit purple and scarlet beeps, pulsating to the motorcycles racing.

Very little kids chased one another with inklings of sand in their scalps and pants-run-throughs of what defines a blessed day:

– outbursts of punches & margins of machetes in the pitches of slow runners.

– one could tell that the sun would never set if the day hadn’t melt everyman into the young night.

But home was a few jogs away.

 

Footnote:

Bodija is a district in Ibadan after which a popular market is named.

EbaOdan means Ibadan; a large Yoruba city in southwestern Nigeria, Africa.

 

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Elijah Christopher is a lifelong creative artist and a journalist for “A New Touch Of Africa”, an American news media and magazine focusing on Africa-related issues, fashion, new technologies and innovations. He has contributed to several published works, most notably a collaborative poem celebrating Scottish poet Edwin Morgan and in 2021 was the winner of the DIAJ Award for his photo-artistry.

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