MEMORY IN BITS

You sit by the lush lawn that overlooks your steel gate, reading a magazine while sipping from a glass of chilled citrus drink. The weather is mild; shining from the back of a dark cloud is the sun, gazing weakly at the world. A passing breeze toys with your hair, blowing them over your face. You didn’t put out a hand to hold them in place, rather you let the breeze nudge them about.

The once gentle breeze gathers into a howling wind which snatches the magazine from your
hand, throwing it feet away from you. You gave a chase, both hands lifted in mock panic, to retrieve your costly magazine. The wind gets excited, doubling its might and swelling your gown like ball wears worn in the western world. You pause in your pursuit, the magazine has been hurled over the fence and you stand holding onto your gown smiling.

You remember Miracle running not too long ago, after a piece of paper she’d been sketching on, stolen by the wind. The thieving wind, you called it. You equally remember how she had laughed when the wind blew up her skirt, you see her gleaming eyes filled with shocked pleasure as she paused to gather her skirt. You remember how you had ran out to her, how you two giggled until the
drizzling rain turned to a mighty downpour.

You remember too how you took turns drying each other’s body, and how you stayed up all night watching her unsteady temperature. Miracle is a fragile one and easily catches cold.

The falling rain brings you out of your nostalgic trance. You turn and flee to shelter while the tears you don’t notice mingle and fall with the rain.
***
Anger masks your face, stretching it to a frightful angle. You pace in short quick strides, rounding an imaginary table a thousand times. Miracle stands by the sink, playing with the water that runs over her fingers. Her face is frozen, void of any emotion. She raises her
face and looks at you briefly, now you see the defiance in her eyes. You cannot help notice she dons a turtle-neck sweater which is black and thick over a knee length gown; you wonder if she is cold.

You stop right before her. Your eyes are pleading and teary, and your lips shakes from threatening sob.

‘Please,’ you whisper, fighting the sobs. You take her hands in yours.
She moves out of your semi embrace, furiously wiping her eyes with the cuff of her
sweater. She is strong willed and stubborn, just like you.

‘Mother.’ There is plea in her voice. ‘Years ago while in college you had me. You had nothing; no friend nor family to support you, yet you had me despite the mockery and scorn.  Had you aborted me, would you have had me with you today?’

You sit down, letting the tears flow, looking at your sixteen years old Miracle and grasping the meaning of her words.
You ache from what the world would say to her, how the world would treat a teenage pregnant girl. Seventeen years ago you were there yourself, and the pains you passed through still clings to your heart. The world has not changed much in seventeen years. You hug your daughter, weeping with the same unity you had giggled with under the rain.
***
Vin giggles as you tickle him. The sound of his laughter brings light to your heart. You set him down and watch him crawl happily to his pack of toys.

Months ago, you had sat watch over your teenage daughter and her growing belly. From
the first to the ninth month, fearing that things might go wrong any second. You stood by her against the world and fought her battle with her.

When Vincent was born, you had wept profusely, hiding your face from the excited nurses. You had cried for your daughter’s safe delivery, you had cried at her bravely, but you cried more for wanting to get rid of this angelic being that did
you no harm. All for the sake of what the world will say.

The birds are chirping happily outside, and Fat Jo your dog runs after them, playfully barking up at the sky while clawing at their faint shadow on the ground. You are at the lawn, not reading though you have a magazine on your laps but watching Vin in a slightly oversized cap play with his kite. He is two years old and calls you mama. Far, from the north, the wind came calling. Blowing off Vin’s cap and hurling both it and his kite over the fence.

He turns to you with wide eyes,
laughing, you run to him laughing. Your laughter mingled with Jo’s barking as you all run around playfully.

You lift your grandson to your back, his giggle fused with yours as you run from the falling rain. You are afraid he will catch cold. Fat Jo barks excitedly, running after raindrops. Your dog loves water a lot.

Your voice is sleepy. You sit rocking him to sleep, singing a lullaby. His petite angel-like face cuts your heart. The guilt is still there, although you didn’t get to destroy this happiness.
*
Nonso Serah Uchechukwu has been published in this blog under the name Serah Donald Mbachu. She sent in this from Owerri. You haven’t seen the last of Serah here.
If you wish to guest blog here, contact me on kingkingsley89@gmail.com.

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NIGHT

When the sun retires,
when the clouds, grey
and that beam retrieved
by its visiting foe,
humour me, Night.

With the sweet music
of frogs and the cricket,
with the soothing sparks
of fire-flies, the moon stars,
humour me, Night.

When the coin turns,
hiding good, giving ill
and green is lost
to the heave of grunt,
tutor me, Night.

To sail high above
your eerie noise
to draw strength
from your darkest hours
tutor me, Night.

To draw wisdom,
from your moonlessness
and strength to have,
when your stars hide
tutor me, Night.

That when dawn comes
in its awesomeness,
and my heart, boisterous
won’t a teacher forget
Save me, Night!

Serah Donald Mbachu is a shy writer who hides in Owerri.

You love this, read equally great poems here and here and here.