R is for Roots


The Roots of my familiar are questioning me

These are the roots that anchor me

I’ve left them behind many a time

But they force their way into my consciousness

Telling me who I am and what I could be.

I put down my roots and I leave them be.

They chastise me when I stray, when I’m being someone else and not me.

They hold fast when I forget who I am and where I’m from.

The Roots of the familiar are holding on.



D is for Dowry



Hi, In keeping with my look at culture, today’s post is D for Dowry.

In some Nigerian tribes, the woman brings a dowry as part of the marriage agreement. So here’s a bit of poetry for today.


Kola-nuts – a key component in Nigerian ceremonies@image

My Dowry

I come to you with a dowry on my head

Not so you should want me dead, but that we should plan for the road ahead.

I come to you with my father’s sweat and my mother’s fear that no one would ever love me so dear.

I come to you with innocence and hope, not giving you permission to destroy my soul

I bring gold, a bag full of kola-nuts and a trunk full of promises to share

I bring honey, so our life will be sweet

I bring salt to preserve and keep us

Most of all, I bring a start to our new life


She shuffles along the supermarket line

Picking up the discarded coupons and smiling at the man behind

Oblivious to the stares and tuts

The coupon will get her a full day’s meal

A bit more than yesterday and a bit more for tomorrow

She laughs at the baby that pulls her hair and at the baby mother that turns away

She’s been there before

She’s been rich and poor

She’s now waiting

Waiting for her life to end

Waiting for the tide turn

Waiting for the freedom to talk to the maker about the one that got away and the things she did not say

She’s lived a life that has been wild and sometimes murky

She’s met and had a great number of men

A man eater you would call her then, an old women you’d call her now

Her role is over and her life lived, it’s time to get a coupon for tomorrow’s meal

So if you see her picking up someone else’s coupons and waiting for the bargain bucket

Remember, she once had a life like yours


I want to go home

The alarm goes, I stretch

I look for the snooze button

The alarm goes again, I remember where I am

I expect a kick or flick

I get a kick

I see the sun on the horizon

I am still alive, I don’t want to be

The Muezzin calls the prayer

The cock crows

The dogs bark

Another day in the forest of despair

I am still here

I have not been claimed

The angels have not taken me away

Pray five times a day I am told, I pray five times a day

I pray with a gun to my head

A kick in my back, a tug on my behind

I don’t know the words, but I pray

Tomorrow you become wife I’m told

Tomorrow you learn to cook and burn your books

Today, I am a child

Waiting to go home