Sand house 

The last time I saw her, 
I was four.
The grip of rainfall on that season was 
Like hands around the throat. 
And it was an April, after the hesitant 
Outgoing of the dusty winds of harmattan. 

Sand house evening. We squat 
On the chilly sand ground and 
Build: piling brown petrichor 
Scented sand, very gently, 
Over our divine little feet; 
Molding like art entwining itself 
Around the soul. 

When we were through, it looked 
Like the Great Pyramid of Giza. 
There was an irregular hole at its base 
With the cryptic visage of a chasm. 
I started to think of it as
A bottomless pit: dark and dry and infinite.

Amidst the bustle of the streets,
There was a woman quite unnoticed
In plain tie-dye wrapper and
That blouse she rarely wears: 
A cloak for the scars that won't heal. 
This was my mother leaving 
For the first and the last time.


Eight years ago, and less than a mile
from my grandfather’s house,
             an angry mob killed a man and burned his corpse. 
Necklacing. The petrol-filled tire burned through and through 
until naked, stiff and charred flesh was all that remained. 
                                                          The young man, an Igbo, 
reportedly shot his Yoruba landlord’s daughter. 
Some of the witnesses testified that it was a mistake,
                             but the irate crowd were too antsy to reason,
their clamors of  “We refused to be terrorised in our own home”
rent the afternoon air and made the town quiver. 
                                                     After the deed, 
the perpetrators fled, 
leaving behind only the sickening smell                              and a statistic was added to the world’s pain. 
Now. This is not merely the story of how a man was lynched, 
or about the men who did it. 
                                                                       This is a poem
of livid, raging disgust
at the devilry of the voices whispering
                                              that the young man deserved it,                                           
and all the bigots around the world 
who live with their hate around their necks,
                                 burning our world to ashes. 

About the Author:

Taiwo Akinyemi is a Nigerian poet and short-story writer. His works have appeared in publications such as Praxis Magazine, Odd Magazine, Okadabooks, and Literary yard. 

Featured image by Steve Johnson from Pexels