Dec 2. 2010

Say these bones were stones,

would my mother leave her bed

for a wooden box covered with dirt

and sealed with cement?

 

You were a caricature

of yourself; drawn

with tears when you stood

at the door, asking

me how it happened. You did

 

not become what I could touch,

until you rubbed your chest

against mine on the couch.

You took me out of the house, leaving

behind my sisters, who were filling

 

the house with the names of my mother.

On the road, everything

was still made of water:

the cars, the motorcycles, buildings.

You told stories, your voice died trying

 

to find routes into my ears. You dipped

a handkerchief into my eyes, drying

away bitter memories

with your kindness. A truck moved

 

towards us, its headlights, bright

like morning’s flesh. You told me to keep

my eyes on the sleek covet; I saw

a reflection of light

 

run through it briefly. The truck

went into a dark distance. You asked

if the reflection lasted

forever. Your lips spoke to my cheeks:

 

I stood by the roadside like a tree,

You got smaller and smaller,

and you became the darkness

that helped me to see.

 

 

 

D.M. Aderibigbe
was born in 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a B.A in History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos. He’s the author of In Praise of Our Absent Father, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series¬†and is a¬†recipient of 2015 honours from The Dickinson House and the Entrekin Foundation. His poems appear in African American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, Normal School, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, RATTLE, Spillway, Stand, among others, and have been featured on Verse Daily. His first full-length manuscript, My Mothers’ Songs and Other Similar Songs I Learnt received a special mention in the APBF/Prairie Schooner 2015 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He’s also co-editor of More Than a Number: Poems and Prose for Baga. His essays appear in B O D Y, Blueshift Journal and Rain Taxi. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria but will move to Boston to start his MFA in Creative Writing at at Boston University as a BU Fellow this fall.

Photo by Christopher Brown, Creative Commons.

Filed under: Poetry

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