January

TRANSCRIPT OF A TOGO

DSC_0520.JPGI remember the farewell from the King’s gate
With the prayers of good tidings by the patron
I remember the first brawl when thugs  were the actors
And the persistent placating procedures
I remember the long ride through tarred roads
And some flooded oceans on quartz
I remember the cherries, music and laughter
And Di’ja’s saving words in my ear
I remember the fight we had before I left
And how so much trust slipped away
I remember the tears I had to hold back
To pretend that I was tough too
I remember wishing that ride would be fun
And bring me some eternal transition
I remember trying to forget my foolishness
And just admit that distrust was my best friend
I remember reaching the border at last
After losing the other buses to speed or delay
I remember leaving Nigeria, reaching Benin
And cuddling with the stars and moon unclothed
I remember the smokes and the secrets
And just making a bond with openness
I remember the seasoned chicken
Lacking spice of any special sort
I remember our disagreement
And frightening fear of being robbed
I remember staying alive and not dying in a strange land
I remember the broken bread and tasty tiny puffs
And early morning games after closing our eyes for split seconds
I remember changing most of my Naira
Leaving some perchance the story changed
I remember our saviour from the night before
And how I wished I was that polyglot
I remember moving on and creating a gallery
At every spot where my heart skipped with pride
I remember getting to Togo, and being locked out
Like criminals on a wander mission
I remember the spy and the rescue mission
And how food for festivity became peasants’ height
I remember living the night under the dark light
Together terrified yet resolute and delighted
I remember the toll individuals who got our SOS
And failed us twice before winning
I remember the hurt child and the bloodthirsty crowd
Making the streetlights frighten the night
I remember the flavour of the flakes which sailed through
As we drove through near midnight to throw heads on pillows
I remember the first entrance
And the first meal, and sleep
The beginning of the escapade
The tour of the handsome spirits that we shall leave behind
And the tearing ulcers that killed hope
Three nights away, midnight returned our souls to the King
And my door closed behind my fagged-out excited frame.

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