When we left our ancestors’ land to wrap our feet

in foreign soil like cricket, mother spewed out dark

ocean from her belly & we sailed on its waves & tides. We plugged

our ears in the air, a neighbor echoing unfamiliar song

of our tangled beard and bushy hair – madness he said,

but we were learning the ways of new birth. Father sat

on couch, watching agama affirming his thought as we

navigated our paths through the smoky land. His eyes kissed mine,

searching for a piece of cake in my bones – another seeds

of sycamore have been stolen from him. From naked road

to the one in black gown, our dying souls hung on whirlwind

like bats on palm tree. We hid our fears behind the garment of smile

& worn our brothers’ skin to feast with their ghosts.

We, the hard trees must not shed tears. The sky spread her wings

over us, a single mother with four mouths at hand hawked water at call

of the sun & body at call of the moon. Here, no fathers but men

whose blood scent fresh liquor – the hybrid of Baobab & Leadwood

rotting on the fertile soil. As we plugged our roots into the strange soil

to have a taste of water, a woman jumped in front of a lorry, they said

she was learning to dive on soccer pitch & her headless body was gifted

to her husband – a hard tree that must not shed tears.

Stephen Oladayo Oladokun is a writer, photographer and educator from Nigeria whose works have appeared and forthcoming on Fly on the Wall Poetry, Pine Cone Review, The Shallow Tales Review, Fae Dreams Anthology, African Writers, Milk Diet, Ice Floe Press, My Woven Words, PEN Nigeria, Melbourne Culture Corner Review, Sledgehammer and elsewhere.He is on Instagram as Oracle_Voice and on Facebook as Oracle's Voice and Tweeter as OraclesVoice1.