ILLUSION BY JOHN CHIZOBA VINCENT
And this picture on the wall of my heart told a story of men giving birth among themselves in the north promiscuously…
Sipping memories from the lungs of the girl child.
They were not ashamed of the little ones watching their nakedness which howled at them mannerlessly.
We bathed the oceans again and again,
We made the sand shone like the moon,
We washed the sky daily to see clearly of what the earth has in stock for us.
We painted the earth and added more colours to the chirping rainbow.
Life became wet in our palms because we saw images and figurines of women whose shinning womb were made abnormal by men of yesterday.
And mother told of an innocent girl that killed her father, mother and brothers,
She was patted by the king for doing so,
As she told this ear breaking tale,
we saw the rain emerged from the ground instead of the lonely idle cloud that watched us through different mirrors.
They said we’ll live forever on paradise,
They said there is heaven and hell,
They said evil people will be punished on the last day,
They said we will burn for thousand years,
But how could a father punish his children with fire and brimstone?
How could spirit burn in a fire?
How could we tell lie to ourselves and expect the sun not against us?
We have seen cock making love to a duck and, dog to a cat, and grandma told us it was normal.
And Father told of the miseries of the black spirit in our village streams,
How pouring of libation on the family shrine brings good wife and good harvest,
how rubbing oil and wearing palmfrond on your lips wad away demons.
he said there is a third heaven above us,
He told us why the He goat smells,
He said white ghosts do fly day time; he has seen the flashes of one of them at Benin.
After Christopher, I creed,
After Achebe I loved again
After Wole and Niyi’ folklores,
After Habila Helon,
After Chimamanda’s truths,
We’ll retrace this fables with a knitted thought towards strings of our voices.
How does the patient dog eat the fattest bone now?
Does the silent cock still live for a lifetime?
Mother lied to us
Father lied to us
Grandma lied to us
Grandpa lied also
A mirage formed
Teachers lied to us
An illusion created
We are not who we are through those illusion told to us through their lips.
©John Chizoba Vincent.