Written By: Chiemeziem Everest Udochukwu


I saw your picture on a preeminent poster yesterday. It revealed your gap-teeth to lookers, whom I’m sure must be enchanted by your mesmeric smile to pledge you their support. I had to look twice to identify the picture there as yours. All the scars were gone, and that suggested all the pain had gone too.

You looked too elegant, too radiant for contesting a seat in the House of Assembly as I saw in the poster. I now understand why you severed your marriage to Father. He would never have allowed you beam such a smile or radiate such glow with his brutality. He would have allowed you soar so high with his wing clippings. The world would never have seen you, had you remained in his stash.

Mother, nothing gladdens me more now than seeing you have finally walked to freedom and fame. You gave me so much more when you were in the house. That is why I write you today to tell you what my body has become since you left, although I don’t know if it would really mean anything to you again.

My body is no longer that soft mass that gurgled in its cradle as you fondled and pecked at it.

My body is no longer the bud you bloomed with clothes and shoes and bags and snacks.

My body is no longer that flower that secreted nectars so sweet you usually drove away bees that buzzed around it pollinate it.

My body is a roof dripping vermilion with no one to patch it in the rainy season.

My body is fodder eaten by its maker; an altar its co-builder worships his violent god.

My body is a painted shack. A cemetery: tombs, sparkling white; pit, stinky with rotten flesh.

My body is a socket on which anomalies are plugged.

My body is the scriptures written in unspeakable verses.

Nne m, my body is all but a wraith; a pregnant cripple on a cliff; a poxed chick yearning for a clucking hen.

Nne m — My mother

Chiemeziem Everest Udochukwu is an Abịa-born student of Linguistics/Igbo, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He writes in English and his beloved indigenous language. Whenever he isn’t creating ink-blooded beings to nourish minds with sheets of experiences, he courses through the pages of the minds of literary greats. Or plays cultural songs and dances his boredom away. Or gives his boots something to think about on the field. Or watches Chelsea Fc. Or puts incredible efforts in doing nothing.

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