CHRONICLES: 8 FIGURES AND A SHORT DASH By Gbenga Osowe (@gbengaosowe)

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Countless numbers of fowls, beheaded
Tubers of yam, pounded
Bottles of drinks, emptied                                                                                                                                                  
Merry-making and dancing,
An ecstatic father, an elated mother,
The solemnity amidst the merriment
As the priest pronounces the new-born’s name,
And the party continues
 
 Omo tuntun alejo aiye, omo {Oh new born babe, a guest in this world}
 Iya aburo ku ewu o, omo {Congratulations to the mother of the child}
 
Anguish and joy on the face of the mother,
Fear and excitement in the heart of the daughter,
Excitement, at the learning world ahead
Fear of the unknown within this world called school,
6 years of primary,
3 of junior secondary,
3 more of senior secondary
And the ivory towers beckon,
 
 Bata re a dun ko ko ka {Smart footwear will adorn your feet}

To ba k’awe re {When you become educated]
Bata re a dun ko ko ka [Smart shoes will adorn your feet]
 
                                             
Our baby is now a lady,
And oh the suitors come a-calling,
The date is set,
Hall prepared,
Groomsmen, dapper
Bridesmaid, resplendent
The groom’s eyes, gleaming
The bride eyes, teary
As she leaves her parents, a newcomer, in a new home
The song of “the women of the house”, delivered in ironic joy
 
 Ile awa dun, oko ni ng fo’sho {We have a lovely home, where husbands do the laundry}

Ile awa dun, oko ni ng pon’mi {We have a lovely home, where husbands fetch the water}
 
                                           
It’s four months from then, and the telltale signs are showing,
The birth of a new born is imminent,
The cycle of life in continuum,
5 more months, now the contraptions
Off we go to the theatre
But this is no play
 
The doctor’s needle, wrongfully inserted,
The surgeon’s knife wielded carelessly,
The blood gushes forth,
Stitch it! Patch it!
The damage, already done
 
The spasms, the throes
The agony, the last breath
The cries of the bereaved parents,
The plight of the semi-orphaned child
The sadness of siblings, friends and colleagues,
The ephemerality of life in its entirety
And the sweet hope of glorious eternity
Chronicles of a life
1980 – 2010
Eight digits and a short dash
A dash filled with memories of an industrious lady
 
 
Written In memory of AGIRI, OMOYEMI (nee OSOWE) and to the many women lost to childbirth.
1980 – 2010
 
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