DEAR ẸNIỌLÁ

Odemakin Taiwo Hassan

September 2020

ọmọ kìí bápèlé ìyá rẹ̀ kó ṣaṣo ró


        a child doesn't see her mother's footprints only to derail from them


one day, you'll remember these exact same words, 

       how like seeds, your mother spewed them out on your soil.


& the breeze that day was a cushion for your body 

     with the walls of your house making sure they're balls into your net. 


your memory will picture her bright ankara wrapper, 

       how they perfectly captured your essence - a ripe fruit in many eyes. 


she'll tell you about the  birds that will set their sights on you, 

       the same way they hovered above her when she was in your light. 


I'm certain, your lips will move, they'll form a smile, 

      with thoughts about how her tone rose on certain phrases 

                & fell on others. 


these words, you'll hold firmly like a wristband - small yet conspicuous, 

      then time will make it a hijab, then, a dress, then your skin. 


you'll make yourself a Sunday, these words, into a church

        & no soup you prepare in life, won't have a dash of them. 


Ẹniọlá, one day, you'll remember your mother engraved your name 

        into the essence of these words, 

                 for the world to see your wonders wander. 


& that, one day, you'll also spread these  exact same seeds

              on the soils of the beautiful souls you'll beget. 


Odemakin Taiwo Hassan

Taiwo Hassan is a Nigerian student, poet and writer. His works have appeared or forthcoming in Best New African Poets Anthology, agbowo.org, Kalahari Review, The African Writers Issue 1.2 and Brigette Poirson Poetry Contest anthologies. When he's not writing, he's either listening to music or watching TV series.