Second Letter from Ure’ & On the Day Before We Died
Second Letter from Ure’
I did find someone else, like you asked me to.
He’s a good man, I know, but not as beautiful as you.
He loves me dearly, and hopes someday it’ll be mutual.
I cook for him. I smile at him.
I pity him.
I go to bed every night with him at my side but you in my heart
I kill my moans with quiet tears and with your name in my mouth.
He is not as tall, and jalabia looks dunk on him.
He doesn’t smell of chocolate axe and jasmine.
He is a good man, but he is not you.
If this is what love truly means, I will wait, still.
On The Day Before We Died
On the day before we died
home felt like heaven and we grew with pride
we were beautiful souls, children of the most high
fear of evil, future heroes, afraid to tell lies
Talk about harmony, I remember how we lived:
Mud castles and the warrior stories we strongly believed
we felt loved and walked tall, no matter where we would roam
I would sleep at the waziris’ and wake up at home
We were like family; we shared the same hut
played husband and wife, the police and thief till we got caught
then we fled home, to eat from my mother’s pot.
The things changed and we hung peace on our own iroko
strangled love with our own hands
we placed our hope on a comma
and left with tiny chance to heal our land
Now, mum says I can play with them, and dad nods — it’s true
avoid kunle, saadiq, chima and Fatima, too
they have marks on their faces, unlike you
and different religions, languages, traditions and schools
But on the day before we died
we had the chance to live and avoid death
if we forgave ourselves, put hate aside
and finally — finally — wash ourselves of prejudice before sunset.
This is that day.