I never saw her
Well maybe only once
As a baby
Went to another land
Mother and Father
In hand
In tow with two siblings
Away from my
other brothers and sisters
In another land
Other culture
Where vultures
Feed in appropriate ways
Pass it on as diversity
Just to get a rise
Out of us
Patterned up properly
The patchwork of
Lost property
Hidden in the big smoke
Behind marble halls and walls
I haven’t woken up
From sleeping on hard floors
But I’ve been moulded
To adapt in the open
And behind closed doors
The black swan
On the lawn
Speaking pidgin
On concrete
I use cutlery in the canteen
I use my hands
For soup, garri and meat
Gave me another aura
To my fellow countrymen
My name isn’t the same
As Jimmy, John or Clive,
Even though
We share the same tone
Of voice
Skin tone suggests
Society limits my choice
Of occupation
In a land that occupied mine
Altered the culture
To which I adapt
When I came back home in ’09
My Nigerian brothers
Don’t know how to react
To the fact that
I haven’t been back in so long
Although I’m planted
My roots stay strong
To home soil.
Distance doesn’t make us poorer
Our travels bring riches
Beyond numbers and air miles
Even though the tone is different
When mother hears dials….
She smiles
So I don’t ignore her
Warm embrace
She’s given me
Grace and blessings
Dressed in the finest
Agbada lace
Sewn together
By the love
Weaved in
By my parents
Filled baskets
And cases
From the place
We call home
Although far away
The longing for belonging
Is just shade
From basking
In the motherland’s
Bright gaze.
My name is Chudi O., a London-based poet. You can find more of my work at http://chuxwordofmouth.wordpress.com. Follow me on Twitter @ChuxOnye

Chudi O.


The Move

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