my father’s house is a marketplace
where women buy and sell curses
and the only legal tendency
are hisses and jest
where the noise never dies down.
We do not own an atupa
but our roof is always on fire.
They say, no one sleeps
with a burning roof
but my father would snore
and toss peacefully in bed.
And when the fire becomes fierce,
he would grumble out of his bed
and circumcise his women’s face
with punches and batters,
everyone retires into her room
solemnly sobbing and biting lips in agony.
My mother would call me
in the deepest of the nights
“Alabi, don’t be like your father.
Your father – a demon of no cave,
a demon with flaccid penis
who swim in every pool he sees.
He’s the husband of witches and ghommids”.
My father would summon me
in the break of dawn
“Do not follow the words of your mother,
she’s but a weak vessel
that trembles before crocodile.
Be like your father!
You are a man,
a man entitled to the fair and dark skinned maidens,
fear not thunderbolt.
And when a woman gains undue strength,
tame her with whips
and let bruises become a tribal mark
on her face”.
I’m at a Crossroad —
to be the son of my father
or be the apple of my mother’s eye.
Yet this fire now consume
and soon, my father would become
ashes of flames his women ignited.
This roof still burns…
Yusuf Balogun Gemini
Pix Source: https://www.videoblocks.com/videos/burning+house