Drifting Lagos souls.
Thousands of us,
Millions of us.
We sleep to the lullaby of rattling generators
And Afrobeat music from the party down the road.
Yet, we wake up
To the sweet birds chirping
And the pompous hens clucking.
We stare emptily at our dark rooms,
At how light from surrounding houses
Presses incredible shadows against the walls around us.
We limp through the darkness,
Into the coldness of the stale water
That awaits us in our buckets.
It pinches our skin like a shower of thorns.
No time to shiver or fret.
Who can think of the future when the thorns of the past still stick through our feet?
Who can think of the future when we are unsure of the present?
Who can think of the future when mere survival through today is uncertain?
From bus to bus,
From bike to bike,
From keke to keke.
We run errands gladly.
We run until our joints are weak
And our bones are tired.
And we can’t for a second stop to think—
Maybe to send Sulia to school,
Or Aliyu to learn,
To pull us out of the cycle.
Because the second we stop, so does the inflow of Naira bills.
Where did we start? Where will we end?
I don’t know.
And my heart breaks because I don’t know.
But the one who said:
“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
I trust that He knows in what direction, we are to move.