Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ileya (Homecoming) by Rezthapoet Afolabi

I go home
without the charity, that I took to the city
Home, I go back
With hands clenched in tight fists
The only thing I take back is this,
Electricity, I leave behind
Erratic in nature
Shouldn’t cause up to a day
Change in time and comfort.
So home I go
Without water, running from a pipe
Without night clubs, night life and the lights
I go home,
Brick walls in my background
For home, with the mud walls
Is my background.
Right now, I stand where the tar ends
the Bolekaja* stops, and the dust starts
For my abode lie beyond these forests
Same that bear the herbs
Leaving the comfort of medical hospitals,
pharmacists and their pills
I heard that
Baba Ewejoko*, still is alive
So I shall get the necessary treatment whenever I get ill.
On my way home
Home of many misters, without the “Biggs”
Home of the farms,
where we harvest and roast yams
Home of where I’ll wash my draws
With the water fetched with a draw.
I draw to this, my home in lines
Of footprints, along this path that I follow
Drawn by the aroma of burukutu*
And the wooing, from Baba Aduke’s bicycle
Whose tireprints, lead me on the road to this home, sweet home.
Happy that now as I go
Though without the charity I took to the city
Home I arrive, for this year’s Ileya* celebrations
With hands clenched in tight fists
And the only thing I’ve brought back is this,
The Me,
that didn’t forget his roots
and the son of who he is.
*Bolekaja – rickety old bus.
*Baba Ewejoko – usually the name of the village herbalist
*Burukutu – locally brewed alcoholic drink
*Ileya – Literally means home coming. But it is the Yoruba coinage for
Eid-l-Kabir that Muslims celebrate, and every member of an
extended family is expected to visit the family house in their
respective places of origin, towns or villages during this

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