The Episode of the Anthill
You see me sitting on the anthill
Away from home and you ask me
Why my eyes are bloody and down
My cheeks are signposts of after-rain?
You ask me why in my face,
The cloud has gathered, why my young
Heart is full of so much hate and spite?
I only went to grandpa's desolate hut
And was caught in the spell of his ancient tales.
As he opened my skull and dropped in a handful of solomon,
Little did I know that the cloud had eaten my sun!
The call of the homeward bird
Pulled like a magnet,
My legs conjugated with
The dusty path and its camel's hump,
But the sight of that disharmony
Of mud walls and thatched roof
Drew the giant dancers into my heart;
Oh, what gongs, what drums,
What sound, what trample!
The women stood like mourners
Their faces veiled with anxiety.
Among the cluster of faces I spotted her,
Too bad, she spotted me first!
The lioness pounced on her prey
And I found no solace in my heels.
"You cannot kill me," she sparked.
"I did not kill my own mother!"
And a staccato of sharp slaps
Sounded on my bare buttocks
Before my legs could spring from my torso.
Then I broke loose, I ran, I stumbled
And wobbled over to the anthill a little way from home.
What have I done to earn this return?
That I only went to grandpa’s desolate hut
And never knew when the cloud took the sun for dinner?
Now, dead years lay at my feet,
And I unwrap the shroud to recapture
That very day when my young heart was
Full of so much spite and hate for my mother .
Obanya won the Sentinel Poetry Bar challenge June 2005 on the theme of ‘Childhood’
Sentinel Poetry #33
Online Magazine Monthly, August 2005. ISSN 1479-425X. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede