Taofeek Ayeyemi

supplication

a ma fabebe i beyin, a ma fabebe
kotan kotan, sa laja n lami
a ma fabebe i beyin o

a mother holds her boy’s body like
a blurred monochrome picture
her tears roll into his eyes as if
to say a fuel is searching for fire

they say his mother stumbled
upon a block with her mouth
that her tongue the sharpness
of fang pierces the elders’ body

& its blood flow into her son’s
future. blocks his way like a flood
we talk of the future as if it’s eternal
but it’s the hand of mousetrap

the hand of arrow, the steps of ram
the movement of things moving back
to later be flung far forward into
space, into unseen, into the future

he who closes his eyes & throw
a stone should be hit on the head
his snail’s mouth that curses
should be made to genuflect

a ma fabebe i beyin, a ma fabebe
kotan kotan, sa laja n lami
a ma fabebe i beyin o

but when man lost his brand new
beginning, it doesn’t mean he has
lost a brand new ending. the sun
up there can still dry his wet linen

let the sunlight slips into his
cold room and warm him into
life. let the fire he didn’t kindle
not eat him up. not eat him up

mother of a child is his succour
children of orunmila are salvaged
by the horse-tailed anther
i raise my tongue in supplication

we have come in prostration:
we beg with this hand fan, we beg
finish! finish! is how dog licks water
we beg you with this hand fan

we wave this handfan & blow
coolness into your hot eyes
we hold our palms before you
let his world be the white of dove

a ma fabebe i beyin, a ma fabebe
kotan kotan, sa laja n lami
a ma fabebe i beyin o


Taofeek Ayeyemi (fondly called Aswagaawy) is a Nigerian lawyer and writer. His works have appeared or forthcoming in Lucent Dreaming, Ethel-zine, The Pangolin Review, The Banyan Review, the QuillS, Modern Haiku, Akitsu Quarterly, contemporary haibun online and elsewhere. He won Honorable Mention Prize in 2020 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest, 2019 Morioka International Haiku Contest and 2nd Prize in 2016 Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize.

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