Pain licks the boundaries of tolerance, intensity searing
The pounding of a thousand housewives
Ate away at my crown with reckless abandon
Not Iyan- the king of delicacies in all its supple splendor
But agony; raw, real and relentless
“It is Iba!” proclaims the medicine man
Casting me a disdainful look no benevolent executioner could
Bestow on one condemned to die
As though I was the architect of my own fortunes
Or lack of it
Then silence. Not up there; around here
“Drink this! Bath with this!”
“Rub this on the land of the sun never shines! My fee shall be five thousand and not a kobo less”
I parted my stench filled mouth in an effort of appreciation
“There shall be no haggling!” the fellow bellows
It’s been three days since I last felt the taste of my mouth
The yam has lost its sweetness,
The wine, its appeal
No missus reaches a tender hand to sooth
The dreadful ache tearing at my weary bones
I am lacking in wealth
Plentiful in ill health
With bounteous bad luck
I’ve had a pain-filled life and now,
The respite I’ve long sought after will be mine
I’ve done the needful..like a man.
Beeni, I..Akanni, shall be said to have been a man
An abandoned man, a sick man
Pain sears in
Tearing at my insides and my gut. Pounding.
The pounding of a thousand housewives – sweat drenched.
I close my eyes
Welcome, the reaper!
Cloak clad, scythe wielding
There’s humming in my ears.
Rhythmically rising above the pounding
There’s a parade in the streets-
“My belle o..”
“My head o..”
This is a wake-up call for the society in general to be more sensitive and make an effort to care for the sick and weak among us.
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