A poem for my mother!
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A poem for my mother

My mother was a virgin when she met my father. They got married and my mother became pregnant but got miscarriage. Then she became pregnant again and got me. I was a very big child, my mother said It was so painful for her to give birth to me. She said, I almost killed her. My mother loved me so much because of the pain I made her go through.

Then war came 1967, and made it almost impossible for my family to survive but we did. More than 2 million people died and after the war, We never talked about the war it is like its forbunden to do so. Our country became rich over a night because of petroleum and my mom started having children again, first came my brother and my sister and then it exploded. My perent had eleven children. All of us loved to play football…

My parents loved to take pictures and went almost every Sunday to a portrait photographer for a family group photo. But those pictures are gone. Nigeria is a very sensitive place and people are always on the move and there is always disharmony in the air.

All of a sudden they started dying, my little brothers and sisters. When I was about ten years old one died, I can still hear my mother calling out to me saying ” Your brother is dead” I can still hear her calling out and crying out that my brother is dead… I have being carrying the pain of death in my heart. We do not know why people die, they just died. Some of my brothers and sister died of malaria and others just died as infants and some died at birth…

My camera has saved me from his pain and burden. I asked my camera for help and The Good LORD heard me… The camera is a pain killer. I needed some where to hide and I hide at the back of my camera.

I see my mother today and I wonder how she is able to survive this predicaments and how is able to put her self together after loosing sex children. She is broken inside.

My moms favorite poem of Birago Diop…

Those who are dead are never gone:
They are there in the thickening shadow. The dead are not under the earth:
they are in the tree that rustles,
they are in the wood that groans,
they are in the water that sleeps,
they are in the hut, they are in the crowd, the dead are not dead.
Those who are dead are never gone,
they are in the breast of the woman,
they are in the child who is wailing
and in the firebrand that flames.
The dead are not under the earth: