‘How we Spell Home’ is a gripping poem about the chaos and unrest in the poet’s home country. What else should a poet do when all the synonyms of ‘home’ she knows are words that unsettle her? Trapped in this poem, are many stories of insurgency and violence that victims did not get a chance to tell. Ogwiji tells this story in lines and in verses.

– Editorial Team

There’s a heap of charcoaling lyrics at the fireplace. 

My father said it is the remains of a burning song,

The one which caught fire in a boy’s mouth,

When he stood on the assembly ground

And sang our national anthem.

These days, mom sits by the fire and counts the smoke

Until her eyes become two rivers, Benue and Niger-

Where death rows its boat with a grin and a gun,

From which the blood-stained bullets came .

My brother’s shrieks slices through the thick darkness

And mum whispers, “the way they spell ‘hell’

‘bombs’, ‘bullets’, ‘swords’ and ‘fire’

Is the way we now spell ‘home’”

About The Author

E. Ogwiji is a Nigerian creative writer and Agriculturist who has lived most of her life in Benue State, Nigeria which has been violently attacked by the nomadic Fulani herdsmen. Her writings have appeared in the Upper Room Devotional, Writers Space Africa, Gyroscope Review, among others.

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