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Published July 30, 2017
"Our Home" by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (Second Place) - Wax Poetry and Art
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Our Home

by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto

The silences within us:
Ade, Ada, Assibi, and me
are also the same as our home.
But Mother's silences; you cannot see, you cannot tell.
She owns copies of our silences in the pockets of her mind.

Father's silences; you can see, you can tell.
He owns the ire that plays his rampaging hands, lips, and legs;
that cracks our walls; that leaves us to think and wonder
if he still plucks sex from Mother's thighs.

Mother returns home (after leaving since morning)
with polythene bag of Ugba which sends signals of
her begging and beseeching neighbours into our eyes.
She carries a shame harbouring too many creditors.
We round her as she perforates a big hole
at the polythene bag's underneath which exudes
oily teardrops and rains Ugba into our palms.
We clutch them with graceful grimaces.
We eat and then clean our mouths. But Mother
cooks and eats the silences inside of her.

Father returns in the evening, drunk, wielding a polythene bag
which is dark and pure and no matter how hard you stare
or look, you are bereaved of its contents.
Even the darkness in our home wouldn't dare allow you
as its lazy bulbs that sit on the walls for months refuse
to separate corners from edges, cobwebs from wall paint.

Father tears open his polythene bag which ignites him to curse
the system, the windows, the doors, the walls, and finally Mother.
He calms suddenly with peace in silences, silences in peace.
I thinking now our home will carry on the silence, the silences.

Father abruptly spreads over Mother as usual.
First, I thinking it's for sex because of the way
he dashes like one let loose from Kirikiri shackles,
like one with overdue yearnings for denied pleasures.
Father kisses… No. Sorry. Kicks, hits, blows and pushes Mother,
making our stares unsteady and unfixed, as little as we are,
wearing us patches of silences on silences just like our home,
making me miss the wit of a Father, the courage of a Mother,
the laughter of Sisters and the songs of Brothers: A Home.

Ugba is a type of food also called Oil Bean Seed.
Kirikiri is a prison in Nigeria.

Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto is a lover of literature. He doesn't write often but
enjoys reading prose and poetry. He loves playing football.
Wax Poetry and Art
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Spring Island
3. Hold Your Breath
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Our Home

by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
(Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria)
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