by Emmanuel Chukwu

A black boy next door asks me to name
Whom I call the only woman in my life. I run to
My father and he sits me next to the kitchen.
He says, Everyday, He would sit his self on this spot
And call his woman his god. I do not know
Why he chooses to name my mother this name,
so I sit and watch him stay still
And slowly unfold her from his mind. And body.


And in another place not in our rooms.
What my brother calls mother is a bible. He opens her
Every morning and reads
From her genesis down to revelation. He says
Mother holds memories that starts from father’s ribs.
And a greater one in a place not in our chest.



A boy does not know what it means to call
his mother a woman. He points to our house and
We place his mother in our home. I do not
Know how it feels to hold home as a woman. Heavy and
Whole. Like those things that always stays wet and weighty.
There is a way we write about Home. Let’s say;
It is when you fetch four mothers from four different kitchens.


And hold them in your home
And allow us paint them from
your memories into these words.
& what we spell their skins is
What takes after your color black.
Like that of charcoals which you’d hold whole in your closed palms.
And sometimes broken when you open it. And sometimes something formed again.
And unformed again into something you do not know.



I’m Chukwu Emmanuel C. A Nigerian writer and poet who loves to use his muse to delve into himself and explore what it takes to be human. His works have been featured in Praxis magazine, Ngigareviews, and numerous blogs.



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