It is time to wake-
After being bludgeoned by sleep.
A quick brush
And a quick wash
Off to the bus-stop in a quick rush.
It’s another day
To work for a pay
Loose soap lather-
Sticking senselessly by the tip of the ear
And white Vaseline still to sink in the hair.
This life is a rush
Get late and get fired
No one cares if you are tired
Or couldn’t spare the time for a notch.
Man! You are a walking sleeper.
We all filed-up
Looking like men heading for the concentration camp,
Yawning helplessly from an unfinished sleep.
This city life,
Is just a life of strife.
We hop on the bus,
So eager to seek solace in its confines.
Heads hanging loosely,
Snoring trumpets at its crescendo.
Free from the day’s toil
But held captive by Lagos traffic.
Sweating and panting from heat,
Squeezed like a crumpled note at the back seat.
Dinner on third-mainland Bridge,
A stick of gala and Asala*
With a bottle of water to quench the hunger.
It’s business time for the street urchins
From Iyana-oworo to the bridge that links Alapere,
They disguise as beggars-
Or hide in the shade of dark like scavengers
Watching out for victims to prey on.
The day weans itself away;
Broken down vehicles,
Long tankers stealing the lanes,
Pedestrians ignoring the bridge,
Hawkers shouting their wares,
Tanker horns blaring like hooting train.
Six to Eleven of our lives
Stolen by the struggle to survive.
Office pressure and less leisure,
Street madness and no cure.
And Lazy-ing LASMA**
All add to this insanity.
* A Yoruba dialect for Walnut
** LASMA reference to Traffic Officials of Lagos State
© Ayinla Muyideen Adeleke