Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto - Poetry

a house so cramped God could barely squeeze in

by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto

...put fire in a home,

it becomes the home.

1 a bang races you downstairs to find mother, with patches of red, before

the sink. father sits on the dining table, a bottle of alcohol dangles in his

burning blood and fists. 2 words between them hover around

the house. some bear voice-less letters: long pins inside a tender

throat. some bear faces of boys and girls who look at you from the inside

of a box full of forlornness and loneliness. 3 you try to play with them.

4 you try to show them your bagpack full of mended toys. 5 mother finds

out that the house walls now ojụjụ your Lego and toy soldiers. 6 she walks you

into the room and puts you in bed and says you should hold hands with

your shadow. 7 that it is safer. 8 she does not want you to see how much

she has bled. the scars she has covered with silence. her torn clothes she has

stitched with birds’ feathers. 9 and how much of father she has washed off her body.

10― reminds of a poet I think said: Augustina’s body was a house so cramped

God could barely squeeze in. 11 each time you look into mother’s eyes

you wonder how much of her is gathered inside the sink’s pipes.