Categories
Poetry

Death of a masquerade

When the cocks wake the clan in the morn with their calls

I remember you, your memories are like my room walls 

First, I must congratulate you for not dying completely 

For telling us why we must abandon the village for the city, 

For leaving the clans people with only strands of what you did, 

And guesses of who was behind your mask, a puzzle on our mind

I remember you abandoning your strong hands for the spoon and fork

You feed yourself, but you knew your mouth was unsatisfied with that work 

*

I remember you eating your tomato salads from cans

Throwing the tin and plastics about the land 

So that our children played. Kicking them and cutting their foot

And when the rain’s flood came, we found the cans in our rivulet

*

I remember you dancing under the moon with the others

Drawing knowledge from the tales our ancient ones offered 

Speaking to the ears of everyone, ‘a word is enough for the wise’

Until you began to see wisdom, looking for specks in others eyes

The dance and folklore gatherings became a child’s play

The tent that housed the age grade meetings now was on your way; 

You will have none of the villages unhealthy games and palm beer

But in your heart of hearts you long for these moments, with desire 
*

I remember you running like a mad masquerade 

On a busy festivity day, striking the defenseless

Blowing hungry fumes from your hidden nostrils

Oblivious of the approaching vehicle

Which was to become your slow death… 

I remember you… 

Note. 
Can you see that the African culture is dying casually? The tradition is laid bare and so ethics that once governed here are disregarded. What must be done to bring back our language, customs, food, dressing, vissicitude and values? 

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

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