Tonight, I am outside, awaiting my mother's ghost from burnt bushes. Few meters away, an owl hoots and I imagine, that it understands this dialect of mine. That it too has learnt to knit the night into its skin perfectly. I imagine, that just like me, the owl is tired of living inside its body. God, I have nothing to offer; nothing except this emptiness. The phone rings and my father asks if I am fine, if I have observed my Ishai prayers. I want to tell him that I have no prayers left to render, that my fingers are strangers to the Tasbeeh. But I roll my tongue towards forgiveness before I sin again. In the news, somewhere in Minna, a sixteen-year-old journeys out of here, into light. I imagine she is me, falling into heaven's mouth, barefooted. There's a bird in my chest begging for flight & I imagine my mother caressing it gently, with her shaky laughter drowning into the night. & we walk down a path I know nothing about, while I bid bye to my body, a box of burden.
Sa’ada Isa Yahaya is a teen author and award-winning Nigerian poet. He is a member of the Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Abuja.