Under the pale shade of the palm tree
You sang me woeful lullabies
Drops of saliva sprang into my swollen eyes
I rubbed them in innocence and love
Like a mother chopping onion bulbs
In the haze of my flickering sight
Baba, I saw you spit from two gapped teeth
It wasn’t a tribute to the wrinkles on your face
It made me blind, I lost my way home
I became a tourist in my own village
Feeling the rough touch of mud walls
Feeling the gentle touch of every leaf
For the glimpse of joy, familiarity brings
But in every gloom and darkening cloud
Comes the freezing showers of epiphany
It was a smirking laughter in your tear
Like thorns among lilies they stand tall
In God’s name you lie without fear
With eloquence you suck the Psalms of David
For the scurvy sermons you preached
The pot holes mock you in the market square
Everyone in the village knows
The arrow that killed mother
Was not shot from afar
It came rattling like the black mamba
It pierced, when she turned her back
She trembled and sobbed for days
Tattered, on the murky earth she laid
Dirges were sang by honourable men
Who nursed her wounds in dark tents
For the good men they were
Her bustling milk they shared.

Alpha E. Y.          2019©

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