Mama is now plus fifty
And her skin now blistering
Mama aged too fast
Poverty rid her of all body fat
Mama already looked like the dust
That I was told we came from
And I? “frail child of a dust mother”
looked like a clay vessel of a poor potter

The firewood on my head,
Even though twice the mass of my body
Is the only hope I’ll see the morning
For if I didn’t eat tonight again, I’ll be dead
So, I rolled the wheel I made from rafia stem
And breathe in the air of the sunset
Mama and her baby limping behind
The baby a hunch on her back

And as we walk hopefully to our little home
Mama hit her leg on a stone
The basket of fruit fell from her head
As she screamed and raised her leg
The baby on her back rocked violently
As when the village rickety boss enters a pothole
Mama’s eye looked sullen in their socket holes
I held her and felt her feeble bone
Then I thought, what if mama dies tomorrow?



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