Close-up of Wheat Plant during Sunset

I never knew my great grandmother
except in a bed
patch on her left or right eye
I never knew which
blind on one side from seeing too much
wanting to see more.

I never saw her young, but
I imagine she must have worn gold in her day
she must have smelt like a hot kitchen
made men hungry
 in their bellies and elsewhere
she must have been disobedient
I hope she was
dancing at night,
and strolling through Lagos
with her wrapper too tight

I knew myself in the queue of children at her bedside
my mother, her mother and hers
who was this woman, Alhaja
golden brown
I imagined a smiling eye
behind an eye patch
I put teeth, misplaced
back in her smile as gold

she was a pilgrim
laying down
glamorous in her sleep
alive for so long
after having laid down her life
for mine indirectly
precious metal

I never knew my great grandmother, but
I am a shape
forged from her
cast in her image


This poem is for my great grandmother. In Yoruba we have a saying 'Iya ni wura iyebiye' meaning 'A mother is precious gold'.


  1. Priceless and inspiring..You are a rare gem. Your writings breathes life. pdk


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