When the snow falls,
Stabbing my heart with cold,
I long for my mother's hearth
That shielded us from the harmattan.
I perceive the aroma of burning logs
And the golden flame that cooked our food,
I inhale the redolence
Of clay pots sitting on the fire.
I feel the smoothness of cold ash
On our soles and hairless skin,
I hear my mother calling us
For a bath warm and soothing.
When night comes with a labyrinth of bulbs
And the hubbub of casinos,
I remember my humble home
Where night and day respect their boundaries.
I see the moon smiling from above,
Her radiant face illuminating the village square,
Where we listened to the exploits of the wise tortoise
From the croaking voice of my grandmother.
When they tell me I am a stranger,
I remember my father’s vast kingdom.
An aura of respect surround me
As I walk through the bush path
With the wild paying homage to me.
When shall I shed this coat of fur
For the warmth of mother's hearth?
When shall I hear from my hut
The heartbeat of an undiluted night?
When shall I water the mound
Where my afterbirth was interred?
When shall I roast cocoyam
On the smoldering ash of the oil bean wood
How I long to cross this ocean
To chew a lobe of my father’s kolanut.
Copyright © Uchenna Egeonu | Year Posted 2022
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