Direction-Similoluwa Aluko

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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.

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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.

Just hurry.

Hurry,

Hurry,

Hurry.

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We

 

just

 

drift.

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?

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We

just

drift.

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.

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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.

We


just


drift


 

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.”

He knows.

I     trust     that       He       knows       in       what       direction,      we      are       to        move.

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11 thoughts on “Direction-Similoluwa Aluko

  1. “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.”

    These verses, along with the rest, caught me like a bullet lodged in my midriff. A sparkling poem from a gifted child. I look forward to reading more of your works.

    Like

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