SAUDATE: FOR GRANDMA

ripples of your serene voice

   reverberate like a serenade

lofty laughter & hearty stories
       make me want to sit with you

one more time to capture moments
   but your room stopped scenting of you

your room now scents of Caro white
       far from your scent of shea-butter

a flashback of you sitting on your bed
  flashes like flickers of light in a camera

made me search for traces of you
  in corners but not a shadow hovers still

so I dug my heart to open the can
  of stories you sprouted in this room

of flowers, you watered in this room
  of birds, you gave wings in this room

of a room that reminds me of old age
  of histories of firewoods & moonlit nights

of a mother who sent you to school
   of a father who says, 'kitchen, a girl's school'

of the story your tongue loved the most
    of your treks to and from Methodist School

of how it was the only school at the time,
  of repetitions of your interesting tales

that bonded us together every now & then
   in these tales, you taught me life—

serves us both herbs and juices
   our taste bud chooses which to linger on.

Lagos, 2020

BUT I DO NOT HAVE A DESTINATION

i walk from a past i want to bury in oblivion
one that was drenched in fear & daily doubts

today, i rise with the sun to dry my grief before
gloom silently comes to engulf me
today i dust my feet and walk away & sometimes
i want to run, fly or maybe disappear
times i envy a bird soaring high in the air
times i pack my splinters my shards into a bag
folded to journey into a future festooned in faith
but i do not know where or when to stop and
i do not know where or when i will cross the bridge
the border where the thorns will wave goodbye
and my fears will never have to haunt me again
i do not know where I'd see the sea that'd drown
away these scars floating on my skin like
paper boats on a body of seawater
today, i begin this journey in search of the self
but i do not have a destination

Lagos, 2020

Rahma O. Jimoh is a writer and nature photographer. She loves to write on humanity, identity and politics. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Feral, Versification, Serotonin, The Hellebore and other literary journals. Rahma is a joint winner of the PIN 10-day poetry challenge, 2019 and second runner up in the Poesy writers contest 2019, she was recently shortlisted as top ten in the Hysteria Writing Contest, 2020, and she is a 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee. She is the Poetry Editor for The Quills and a Contributor at Best Of Africa.

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