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MUFFLED CRIES

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She was a baker and philanthropist: she went to the market

She did not stop at the abattoir neither did she stop at the grocery stall

She hissed when ‘iya ibeji’ called her to buy pepper

She finally stopped at the twine shop

The twine seller was out of twine so she bought a muffler in place of twine

 

As she walked towards her car

She heard a trader say, ‘that’s the nice woman who runs the big orphanage’

And heard another respond, ‘but she has no child of her own’

She covered her mouth muffling her sobs

But cleaned her tears thinking about the solace her muffler could later bring

 

As she drove off

The beggars sang, ‘mummy, mummy, mummy’

She reasoned how melodious such song would be if it came from her child

She almost cried but she looked at her muffler and smiled

 

She pulled over at the gasoline station

The attendant said, ‘you are beautiful’

On her way home, she remembered what he said

She blushed with a sweet sixteen smile

The thought almost made her throw the muffler out the window

She then thought how elated she would have been if those words came from her husband who left ten years ago because he wanted a child

She sobbed, flushing her blush

She got home, her deserter husband left her a letter with pictures enclosed

He wrote her to engage her services to bake him cake at his eight year old twin birthday

 

She went behind the house by the tree planted by her husband

She tied her muffler so high on the tree

And lifted herself so high by the neck just to go to rest.

by

Jesutowo Adekola Adeniji

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