Should we seek blessings from the mouth
of a cursing mother? We sink our head in
wack sacks; symbols of intolerance.
Stranded as refugees—bane of our existence.
Every morning here opens with an invasion
of fierce khakied men banging at our door.
We are made to see scenes of sins in their
ugliest figure. Our fathers christened us at their
fathers' funeral then wonder why we turn
into hardheaded lots. So, what if death is a
beautiful thing? We die & go into the ground.
Our remains grow into flowers. It is only
the interval after dying that new things can
sprout. Four decades:
in the bustles & hustles of the busy markets
of Benin border & the unfriendly weather in
Togo. Four decades:
in the journey through blues & red hues of
big & small sacs with tracks of Biggie Smalls
blasting in the stereo. Four decades:
of tribulations. We were not ready to leave
but leaving meant living & the leave left leaps
of lifting to our homeland. Home—still a
battlefield but where we come from & where
we must return—is now a foreign land.
Olaitan Humble is an aviphile and pacifist who enjoys reading satire, and collecting quotations and astrophotos. He is a staff reader for Bandit Fiction, and poetry editor for The Lumiere Review. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his work appears in CP Quarterly, African Writers Review, Luna Luna Magazine, Rigorous Magazine, AGNG, NINSHAR Arts, and Doubleback Review, among others. IG/Twitter: @olaitanhumble.