Anniversary of the Firstborn; [Day 5 Countdown to 'The Final Testament of a Minor God']

Today’s Theme: Abortion

The poem, Anniversary of the Firstborn, is no.49 in my new collection.

It foregrounds the Pro-Life vs. Pro-Abortion debate with a page from the life of a woman who had made a pragmatic life decision, on a subsequent anniversary of ‘the date’. Your comments and perspectives are welcome as usual – whether or not you own a womb!

In my second volume of How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories, due for an end of year release, I return to this theme in a story which will probably be the longest in the collection. This is The Spirit Consultant. In that story, a roomful of male and female revelers on the crux of New Year’s Day receive a visit from a stranger who professes (of all things!) to specialize in ‘small ghosts’ … many of whom he can see following their ‘mothers’ around. Funny and… suddenly poignant… is how I like to situate the mood of that new year’s eve in the living room of Ntupong, retired (and fully reformed) kidnapper, now a respectable raconteur/beer parlour host in the sleepy burg of Waterside…

But we are definitely getting ahead of ourselves here. This is still May, 2014, we are still shooing in my poetry collection, The Final Testament… Our poem du jour makes a play on the Igbo word for love, ifunanya, which – translated literally – yields the English words ‘I see you in my eyes,’ or – more poetically, generously, ‘I see you tenderly with my eyes’.

Intros really should not be much longer than the poem in question. I give you,

Anniversary of the Firstborn

1

my eyes see you still, child of mine,
though I never laid an eye on you

five
years ago
I freely chose
how to treat my body

were
you boy?
girl? I do not know –

I did not stop to check
the abortionist’s
dustbin

 

2

my clenching womb is
my sore calendar

on this day,
year on year,
I freely choose
how to mourn my baby

are you here?
there?
I do not know

but I wear these tears
for you

my eyes hold you, still,
child of mine

though I never held you
in my arms

Dates for your diaries: 31st May, Terra Kulture;

 
Reading @ Terra Kulture

Reading @ Terra Kulture