When I wake up under the bridge each morning,
I call my mother,
I tell her to go inside the house and wait,
that this thing is tougher than I expected,
That she cannot sit at the door to wait,
lest the winds of this world blind her.
I tell her to stop wringing her arthritic hands,
I am in Lagos,
And one day I will sell enough gala,
Enough la casera and enough superbites,
enough to rent a one room apartment,
somewhere far from the stink of the water gone rotten,
Or maybe I will chase down the right jeep,
and someone will roll down his glass,
and ask me why I am not in school,
and finally she will get to see a proper doctor,
and get more than seven thousand naira monthly.
When I drop the call and pack my things,
My thigh and leg muscles sing,
they sing of cars I chased for more than five minutes,
Only to be told my La casera was not cold enough,
But I swear, I swear it was,
I stretch my legs and wash my face,
and the water reminds me of my village stream,
of when going to Lagos and making money was still a sweet, sweet dream,
And I push back against despair,
And shoulder my gala carton with care,
I do not ask for much Mr Governor,
I do not ask for much.
Only to be able to run,
Run with the wind in my face,
Run with my mother in my heart,
Run on the streets of Lagos towards dreams and hopes.