Ejiọfọr Ugwu

Ejiọfọr Ugwu lives and writes in Nsukka, Nigeria. His poetry chapbook, The Book of God was selected and published by African Poetry Book Fund in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2017 New Generation African Poets Box Set. His poetry and short fiction have also been published in Guernica, African American Review, Poetry Society of America, Drumtide Magazine, The New Black Magazine, ELSEWHERE Lit, Sentinel Nigeria, The Kalahari Review and The Muse, a journal of creative and critical writings at the University of Nigeria. Photo Credit: Uchenna Awoke.

 

 

The Road

 

There will be less men in

my village by the time I

return to it again.

Yesterday, Dona died.

I was happy.

He gave me lashes

for having my own class most times

under that mango tree

close to the village shrine.

Today, Mother called.

Mosi had died of thin disease.

And the other day again,

Owom fell from a tree.

Again, on the day before Palm Sunday

Nwezem died.

He was a man of many books.

A day before the other day

Father died.

I got my things and left.

What do you miss when you

leave the land of the dead?

You miss stray muds,

stuttered steps,

grandma’s hollow eyeballs,

frail shrinehouses,

decaying Gods,

empty farms,

dry rivers,

arid thatch mountains,

drunken youth,

and those already set

for journeys

farther than their eyes can go.

 

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