three poems by Ifenaike Michael Ayomipo
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I’ll be fine

I lay on my half-eaten bed,

my eyes, heavy from the day’s hustle and bustle

still, frolic bedbugs and mosquitoes toss my body

as hunger holds the hem of my tummy.

My doctor said I’m ulcerous,

hence rumbling tapeworms shouldn’t nudge me to eat

because it only deteriorates my health.

But how do I tell him hunger huddles me to sleep many times?

A nineteen-year-old boy curses growth, and that’s me.

Foggy clouds enshroud tomorrow –

I fear I won’t see the sun, not even a glint!

If this is how tomorrow will be, let me never grow!

How many downpours give rise to the sun? I ask.

The night is a resort for reflections and projections;

this is why most dreams wait for it to come.

I’ll be fine by Fireboy sashays into my ears, the head plays some music too.

And I see the sky sheds off its gloom at dawn

as it forgets the pangs of gloom.

I remember the felled cashew tree across my father’s house

sprawling out its branches, forgetting the whacks of axes.

I remember my mother’s undefeatable smile on the hospital bed

when my sister morphed into something concrete.

So I will be fine,

the sun will sunscald my grotesque yesterdays

and gift me amnesia.

Mother Musn’t Die

mother told me how she punched her church’s altar with her prayers

thinking God will send me down before father deafened her ears with parched songs

but why do women bear all the blames when there are no composition of blood, bones and flesh in their wombs?

i didn’t come when mother clocked 60

then, father had already found a boy inside a maiden’s womb.

and from there I learnt –

sometimes, the prayers of those who break their bodies before God lose their wings.

i came late but no child is late for a woman who knows how life tries to fold her body into last of its kind

so mother held me like the heaven she waited for.

i suckled mother’s saggy breasts, the origin of my strength –

I am not scared of falling,

because fallen hills nurtured me —

so there’s an aura of growth in falling.

she sang me lullabies with a grey voice.

she strapped me on a back that should carry my sons and daughters.

i’m now 17,

and life is folding her body into a goodbye song.

she doesn’t look like her body won’t be tucked into sand soon.

mother musn’t die because she had not held the joy of motherhood,

she had only felt it.

And if tomorrow mother’s body settles dirges on our tongues,

she will morph into a goddess :

say, she fought for my survival not waiting to be repaid –

there’s no better way to be a god than to build a castle you knew you won’t live in.

Father’s Voice

be it how he broke my body into a flower that exudes fragrance with his words

or how his tongue knitted my name into sweetness.

i don’t know just want to hear his voice :

it had morphed into thistle.

meet boys in borno, buni Yadi and ikorodu

and ask them about their father’s voice.

you will hear them say –

it reminds them of bodies begged to be saved from pebbles of bullets.

it’s the voice that wedges itself into nightmares if remembered.

it’s the voice that says everything about my country needs light.

i am one of those boys

how do i forget a voice that pricks me when the past and the present are entwined for man’s reflections?

About the author

Ifenaike Michael Ayomipo is a young Nigerian writer who writes on all genres on literature. He hails from Ogun State, Odogbolu, although he lives presently in Lagos State where he catches his muse. He stans Ademule Gandhi David. He’s a young promising Educationist with robust dreams He’s also aspiring to be a photographer. He loves listening to revolutionary songs.

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Writer, editor and reader. A student of mathematics and physics, Twitter troll, Facebook comedian and human.

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