Poem of the Day: A River Memo
Theme: Acts of God/Natural Disasters.

Once, a long time ago, following a series of fatal accidents that involved buses flying off the Third Mainland Bridge into the Lagos Lagoon, I read of a propitiatory sacrifice offered to the spirits of said lagoon. This memory came together with the recent misbehavior of the River Niger that saw her flood her historic banks, with much loss of life and property. So I imagined the sacrifice-lined banks of the Niger in the aftermath of a massive flooding, maybe a hundred years ago. And imagined the Niger as a doughty memo-writing personage trying to be fair to all those bringing choice cattle as consideration for a self-restraint she was not sure she was capable of…

Here’s what her memo might have looked like:

A River Memo

I am Niger, mighty onto sea
and I don’t sit down in conference
with the countries in my basin

I speak for all the streams
that flow to me in confluence:
I cannot sign a protocol
I will honour

if I fill I’ll flood,
each and every time

I won’t reject your prayers
shed in confidence,
nor your tears, and cockerels –

I will drown your sacrificial cattle,
each and every time,
but tell you solemnly:
when I fill, I’ll flood

each and every time

Reading @ Terra Kulture
Reading @ Terra Kulture

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