Conversations about Home

Uju: How are you? You’ve been away for so long.
Kemka: 4 years last week
Uju: I hope I join you soon, I’ve written some exams
Kemka: I still dream of the long bumpy road with red sand, the one on the way to school
Kemka: Some mornings I taste home in my mouth while my pillows soak tears
Uju: What are you saying??? You don’t like America???
Kemka: I miss those long church services we slept through, I hated them but will give anything to be stuck somewhere with my family
Uju: Why are you talking like this? You never loved home
Uju: Papa still hits mama
Uju: He still gets drunk, there’s still unemployment and no electricity
Kemka: I feel helpless here, no one knows how to pronounce my name
Uju: I am helpless here
Uju: Mama dreams of leaving, of living in America
Kemka: Mama’s arms feel like home
Uju: Keep praying, we would bring you a home
Kemka: Amen

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Immigration

“Are you coming home today?”

“I doubt it, there’s this thing, seminar, work. I can’t. I need more time”

“Wole turned 5 last week, he’s got your thick bushy hair, sometimes I show him your baby pictures, the ones in the old album by your bedside”

Heavy breathing “don’t”

“It’s been 3 years, he doesn’t remember you. Don’t you want to see him?”

“This isn’t easy for me”

“Then come home” A sniff. “I still make you dinner”

“I can’t”

-Because sometimes immigration is a black hole