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THE UNSEEN LOAD IS A HEAVY BURDEN

Adiagha, do you not hear it?
Do you not hear the voice of
the conga and tambourine
calling in the village square?

Do you not hear
that all the children are gathered
under the iroko tree
To listen to the wisdom
in the voice of the elders?

It's a didactic moonlight tale,
Adiagha where are you?
A child whose feet faces the forest
will be eaten by the wolves like an antelope.

Do you not know that
when a daughter is bad
her father's people don't let her mother
swallow roasted plantain with cold water?

The blame of the antelope
is always on the hunter,
Adiagha where are you?
The python swallows the child
that lingers at the helm of the forest.

Adiagha do you not see
that the moon is at its peak
and that the princes gather to chose a wife?
Do you not hear that
The child that washes his hands dines with kings?

They say good music goes with good food
Don't you know that,
Little by little grow the bananas?

Good character follows you everywhere you go,
But you are playing hide and seek
with your secret lover
whose only offer is
the pregnancy of the seed of shame.

If love is the sickness,
Adiagha patience is the remedy.
Haste and hurry can only bear children
with many regrets along the way.

Adiagha eka your mother's torch will burn out,
Come home with the vomit and the trypanosomiasis.
After all there are no forests where bad children are discarded,
And more precious than our children are the children of our children.

Come home Adiagha,
The laughter of a child is the candle that lights up the house,
Even the child of a king is a slave in another land.
A bridge is repaired only when someone falls into the water.

Do you not see the lead on my heart?
Do you not know that
the unseen load is a heavy burden?

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Comments

Googling adiagha it reminds me how little I know about west African culture and being the most popular surname in Nigeria.
I like the smooth read of questions and answers, images and counter images and proverbial statements. As I have often noticed the stance you take in a poem, which seems natural to you, is very elevated.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Actually Adiagha is a female given name to first daughters. They are regarded as most precious amongst the folds of daughters and handed with more responsibilities and expectations.

Hommies

author comment

Long but well worth the read

New Workshop
critique for new and old

The Poem is a remake of a West African ballad.

Hommies

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