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?

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