By Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Listen to me
i was alive long before the civil war
before this was even Nigeria
i am a Yoruba woman
my ancestors were Yoruba
forget this foolish label the white man has given us
but, let us leave that matter for another day
you are asking why i am walking around like this?
my daughter, do you know how many children
have passed through this womb?
i bless my Orishas for keeping me
i have earned the right to walk around
showing the village my gray hair
and my flat breasts
my children and old age milked dry
my husband is long gone
so many years with that man
i was his third wife
yes, his jewel
he just couldn’t get enough of my young blood
i would travel to Osun river to offer sacrifices
there, my waist beads would be blessed
my husband never married after me
bless his heart
pass me that alligator pepper
what did you ask me again?
i don’t know where Femi is
do i look like i keep my son tied to my waist?