You are the Editor (Memory Poems)


The City Welcomed Grandma

Grandma arrived the city with
Years of toil and childbirth travails
Wringing every muscle of her body
Cheeks sagging,
Eyes sunken, ears deaf like the toad
And a mural she wears over her wrinkled skin
Shinning with fissures of age.
Grandma is come to city
A house walled round and barbed like a prison
Means nothing to grandma
No peer to visit,
Or familiar village chores to lay hands on
Grandma is indoors day and night
Looking strange every moment of the day.
She's tired of food morning, afternoon and evening
And does not understand her doctor's
Language either.
Grandma is tired of the reeks of kerosene and gas
Used in cooking her food
And why don't you people
Cook with firewood the sweet food
That comes from the country?
Grandma would ask.
And gets no answer satisfying from the
Daughter-in-law who does everything
Every day to keep grandma happy.
Grandma said she's tired of the city
Tired of city food
And the smell of onions, cabbage, spices
And frozen meat or chicken
That look like human carcass from a morgue
Grandma rolled her tongue
In her mouth empty like the duck
And spat a weak stream of spittle
On the shinning tiles
And grandchildren ran and told their mother
Who comes around with a mop
And perfunctorily dry the floor of the dirt
But grandma must go
And that's how grandma's stay
Became overdue
And out prison she came.

Tony Adah
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