Images Behind Me

Oct 02, 2019

By Ifemeje Scholastica Chidindu

If I have children one day, I will tell them the story of James I could remember saying to myself, and I will begin it this way. I will want them to know about what I saw that very night, and what I saw most clearly was my brother standing, bare-chested and barefoot at the foot of my mother's bed, which almost touched the door frame of that same room. Never did the room seem smaller than the night my brother stood there. The mid-July night was thick and dense. Our mobile home was cooled only by the spinning fans near the windows, turned on low because they were loud and rattled the windows, which in turn rattled the room. Lying asleep I had been dreaming. The very event that occurred that night, the one that woke me from my slumber, would be the one that has continued to shake me awake during the dense night of my lifetime. In order to tell this story correctly.

In the night my brother stood. He was so pale that the blue light of the midnight reflected his chest and pale face giving him a strangely angelic appearance. Most frightening were his eyes, blue as the blue night that splashed about the room. He glanced in my direction, saw nothing of interest there and padded to my mother's sleeping form, leaning towards her face. Staring at her, he took a deep breath and shook her. She awoke with a gasp and whispered fiercely. “What is it”? Her usually loving voice turned dangerous, and I am sure my brother, being astute, saw the imminent explosion in her eyes. She was angry, and why not?

James had been fired from his job that day for theft of service. She spoke again, and the sultry room seemed cool stuff, stiff with her words, and I could almost see the “what?” hovering between them. His reply which was simple and calm, made me feel my soul scratching at my ribcage and pounding the wall of my body, rushing to leave me at its utterance. “Mom, I took all my sleeping pills. There were 43 of them. I think I'm going to die”.As an afterthought, a realization. “I tried to kill myself”.

I almost shuddered at his thought of my brother being to the Juvenile detention facility previously, and when he returned, his spirit was violently shaken and ragged. My mother rose from her bed with the thickness of a bewildered child. She glances to my direction without seeing me. I must have been invisible that night, because neither my mother nor my brother seemed to acknowledge my presence. I can only imagine what happened after that. The door to the house gave a final dry click and the slam of car doors told me that they were gone.

Suddenly alone in our small home, I rolled onto my back and looked through the ceiling. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and I let them roll into my ears, where they melted in my brain and put me to sleep. The next morning I awoke and thought that it was all a dream, a strange dream. But “NO” as I look back I still see those “images flickering behind me”.

 

NIGERIA (IMAGES BEHIND ME)

By Anibuko Chinedu

As I grew up in a world of shame
I began to notice that my shadows were like me
It wanted to tell me something
I could tell

It was androgeneous
Neither strong nor weak

At an impulse I received a flashback
It reminds me of how scary I was
In my other life

At first I lived in fear
My mother treated me badly
She joined my two brothers
from other fathers together with me.
Thinking it would unite us
But did it?

Before I became intrepid
Quite brave to say
I chased my allies
I was a mother of my own
Pride all over my face
Joy all over my children
It was an ecstacy

Then the black sun came
Our day became a dark night
Our night sad death
Our once new heaven was not to be compared hell
My appointed rulers turned against me.
Holocaust boldly written on their faces
My children cried
Who will save us?
When will our messiah come?

Re-incarnated in my daughter
I wouldn't allow it to happen
Or think of it happening
It was a HOLOCAUST
A peaceful HOLOCAUST

MEANING
It talks about a country (NIGERIA) as a girl re-incarnated. She noticed that her surrounding and shadows were lik her in her past life. When everyone was afraid because they were under the British colony. Then the British joined the northern and southern protectorates thinking it would make things better. Then she became brave summoned up courage , she chased her mother (Britain) and became independent. Then she found out that ruling was not easy (i.e The Black sun) that even though she chased the real FOE, that there were certain enemies within. The military (i.e my appointed rulers) was her deepest mistake. It was a regime of terror. Re-incarnated in the civilian rule she wouldn't want to make such mistakes again or think of making it. It was Regime of Terror I say.

 

IF I WERE A BOY

By Chiamaka Delight

 

Reminiscing over my life actions
And thinking of all hard functions
Knowing my problem's source
That kept me away from my focus
But all could have been avoided
If I were a boy

Starting from my birth
I've always been in thirst
Being denied some things privileges
The reason I've not yet acknowledged all these I could have avert
If I were a boy

I work like an elephant
And I am rewarded like an ant
Doing things I thought were good
Not knowing to the society, it was mood
These would not have happened
If I were a boy

Rising every morn
I begin to mourn
Because my dream of school
Was to others a word from a fool
The reason only…
If I were a boy

Everyday I am forced to feed
And commanded to give eagles food
Their wears I am meant to wash
And their work only to watch
And I could have escaped
If I were a boy.

However I must rejoice
For in my life I've found a voice
Singing to the benefits I received
After going through a sieve
These I would not have enjoyed
If I were a boy.

 


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