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 his boat with a grin and a gun

From which a blood-stained bullet dangles.

My brother’s shrieks slices through the thick darkness

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

Is the way we now spell ‘home’

Four letters each- bombs, bullets, swords

and fire.”

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