Dear Akpara

Maryjacob Okwuosa - Nigeria

Dear Akpara,

I haven’t written to you because I feared my truth,

Still watering the fruits, ignoring the root,

The gongs got my head mute,

Even the talking drum has gone mute,

Sorry my prayers were no input,

But our memories were cute,

So cute I’m still holding strong,

 

I found the light you sent,

Just hours after you left,

Relish is my all-time realest,

I bet you sent me the best

 

You know how suffocation feels?

The very kind that makes me ask for pills,

Well, it has crept the world like drills,

Leaving every soul with chills

 

On it are Black, Yellow, Brown and White,

To our ancestors, we have performed the rite,

But here we still are, unsure of what the outcomes will write,

Now only the cure has the entitlement right,

A sneeze throws us all to the dog’s bite,

Smiles in between coughs are not as bright,

It’s not a war of the mighty,

Cause they all have failed the huge task

 

We are all home to stop the spread,

Without even a loaf of bread,

Nor a mattress on the bed,

I swear it is felt by the birds,

Cause their songs are now raw dirge,

 

No one is exempted

Not baba not onye ukwu, not even alhagie

 

Hey Akpara omam,

Patricia is working from home,

Just like her partner who returned from Rome,

With their 3 kids who can’t do things on their own,

House chores stay from sun to moon,

She’s juggling them through noon,

And forgets to look at her mail till June,

You can bet she won’t be spared,

If the firm starts to lay off workers

 

Mama Funmi was bruised,

Just after Oga family head had her brutalized,

Oga says she can’t be hospitalized,

From the lockdown, he has capitalized

 

Nne Chukwuemeka is no more,

A week into the lockdown or more

She was sent to her ancestors by her heartthrob

 

Khadija is totally depressed,

She is fed daily with not being enough,

She’s totally stressed,

right now is tough

 

Enei is 6 years old,

But her father all seeming bold,

Has dug her heart’s gold,

 

Ekaitte is frightened,

Of her 60-year old guardian,

The same one we saw on the sex offenders register,

 

Favor faced jungle justice,

She was burnt by the men who terrorized the neighborhood,

They said she loved wrongly

 

20 million jobs are estimated to be lost in Africa,

That’s if that number survives it,

It’s worse than you ever saw.

 

Women and girls are struck the most,

Some by the same people that had caused them pain,

Just like always the world doesn’t mind,

They feel we are secondary and so we are ignored.

 

I’m still fighting hard,

Stronger and smarter,

 

Everyone you left is still here,

Hurting and living,

Partly pretending you’re still here.

 

I might write to you often,

It’s just that it hurts to reach you.

 

With Love,

MaryJacob.