a child must know what comes
after a hard glare from his mother;
one that becomes a brittle smile
the very next second, a flicker that
goes unnoticed, like NEPA when it rains.
a child must drop the food in his hand,
the food’s taste in his mouth must grow
sour, like guilt,
and he must begin to prepare his back—
at the back of his mind.
soon, mother’s cane would become a
spoon in mother’s hands, that scoops
senseless greed off his back in whips;
and feeds it to
the wind as his screams.
before he thinks of fainting,
a child must think about the drum
of water at a corner in the kitchen.
he must know what it means to
be truly finished.
is a medical school undergrad who is intrigued by the beauty of art. He tells stories sometimes, and plays the piano at other times. His works of short fiction have appeared or are forthcoming on The Shallow Tales Review, Kalahari Review, Ngiga Review, Writer.ie, Eboquills, and OkadaBooks. He is a fellow of the Hope Waddel Society of Music, Calabar.