The Yoruba’s believe the naming of a child carries great significance

This makes sense to me, so I’ll name you Ekundayo “sorrow becomes joy”

Your name is my silent prayer before day dawns, my desperate wish for a companion

For now I’m Bolanle in Baba Segi’s house marking your name on broken chinaware

I’ve always been fascinated by the little chips, imperfections on perfect pottery

I spend my days observing from crevices, watching rifts and drama plots unfold

Watching has made me skeptical, how does one unsee the world?

I’ve seen great men lose their desire for clothing, they roam mad in the streets,

They run mad precisely when the long drought is over and particularly on the day of harvest

Skepticism threatens to eat my womb from the inside,

Why would I bring you into this wretchedness? What can I tell you that would prepare you?

I torment myself with images of crying infants, even before I hold you

Stories Ben Okri told of rivers, roads and children induced by the spirit world

I search in vain to find the right words, to conjure sweet melodies that will make you stay

To assure you there is road where happiness and joy meets

To promise you they’re days when you wake up and the air will smell of good things

On those days you’ll put your tiny hands in mine; your smile will be my armor

Those days I would let my mouth whisper “I love you” through watery eyes.

– Mother

(retrieved from obafuntay.com)


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