Photo source: Adeoluwa Olatunji
I prod my wishes into every new year with reluctance
the way a mother sands her son’s carrion.
I’m tired of lifting my tongue unto a God
tardy in tinting prayers but swift in finding
a nest for a curse.
That’s not an assertion—
here, we seldom await marigolds on our debris field
when our fathers’ lips robe our heads with prayers
come to us when our fathers’ tirade curses
you’ll meet rest
standing outside our bodies declared an outcast.
there’s no blossom to look out for
in a forthcoming year.
You may be pregnant with dreams
but you may touch a river of blood
in the end.
Take your lover into a new year,
and it may give you back a packet of bones.
It may not give you back your brother.
It may not give you back your sister.
It may not give you back your mother.
It may not give you back your father.
Is my country messing with my mind again?
My mother is neatening the room
conflagrating some old cloths
and washing her cutlery, too.
She’s coddling the forthcoming year like a guest.
Well, some guests eat from your pot
drink from your brook
and give nothing but wreck
when they are set to leave.
Ifenaike Michael Ayomipo
is a Nigerian writer whose works have been published or are forthcoming on The Quills, The Transit Magazine, Naija Mad Hotstars, My Woven Poetry, Ngiga, Kalahari Review, Covid19HQ, The Shallow Tales Review, and elsewhere. Also, he is a promising Educationist and Public Speaker.