Sunday, March 26

Daughter Of Nature

A poem by Chika Oduah 

I am the daughter of Nonyelum Mercy

and Ashinyeli Emmanuel

I am the daughter of well-browned forms 

of Theresa, Amaka, Godwin, Ndubuisi 

the daughter of dreams cobbled together in pillars that hold up the sky 

I am the rays in my mother’s visions, the mass of its expanding gasp

I am the daughter of Awkuzu’s red earthen paths linking compounds joyous with melodies of children, budding youth, elders who carry mysteries in their tinkling bones and sacred trees that hold souls in glass jars dangling from branches 

The daughter of Odekpe’s black soil, Odekpe’s fishermen who live by earnest devotion to the canoes that lift them, the crocodiles that save them and the river that feeds them

The daughter of farmers who bend over lush grasses with babies swaddled on their backs, hands gripped ’round the curves of blades 

hands that caress the womb of the world

that reach into the warm wetness of it 

then stroke, pet and yank of it tubers of yams, cassavas, greens, the supernatural, the things unseen

I am the daughter of farmers of Ogbaru

The people who dance Egwu Amala

On the bank of the River Niger glowing eerie under waves of moonlight

Waves shimmering past palm fronds – beholden – sway everlasting to everlasting

– Daughter of Nature

Except from a poem I wrote a while back, spring of 2018

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