Nnodu Mma!

We fatten and fatten you with youth and brain. But still you’re not satisfied! We’re never guests when you set your tables. Always you dine and wine, picking our choice cuts, our promises, our children, our leaders. But still, your bossy fingers itch for more and more. Why do it to ours? If this be the prize for gold and other things, why not take your anger to those who anchor me to seat and die for your keeping? … Tell me, Earth, why, why, why me? I do not grow fat and rich! My people do not wreck you, our earth of our forefathers. – Lindiwe Mabuza, “Wake” in Chinua Achebe and C. L. Innes (Ed) The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories. 1992, p 41.

Neither the seven hills nor the brown roofs of this realm could block the shrill that broke forth with your sleep. The heavens neither shook nor did the earth grumble, yet the stillness of nothingness is too palpable to deny. The fangs dug deep into the recesses of your mild frame, plucked were it did not plant and fled thinking it has triumphed.

This perfidious pilfer has cut short our intimacy down under, only to usher you into ecstasy high over. It seems like a trick, played so fast that one only hope is fads so soon. Like the mist that gathers in the morn only to be scattered by the sun; someone should awake me from this dream!

How come this same road that you have plied a thousand times over, has now opened up to swallow you? If only that ‘mass’ transit had not gone amok with the hellish speed on that expressway? You would have remained if, and only if, help came fast enough? Perhaps I am biased and would be told as such if I point fingers on those who have shamelessly consumed our common patrimony? Had that road been in good condition, had the craters been smoothed with tar, had…

Onwu ama egbu! Nne Oby, nodu mma!


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