My grandmother tells me there's no virus prowling here She says Ọ̀rúmìlà didn't ask her to Shroud her face & seize Her breath, Nor did Ọbatálá wear one while he sculpted creations She says there are only tongues with lies incised in Them & there—one of the things that bogged us Into mire situations. That every song of poor mothers Has two verses—an imprecation for democracy's Bearded reptiles & an elegy For dying sons & daughters who have taken heavy Dosages of hunger. Grandmother was taken to the hospital two weeks Later & like Solomon Grundy, she died on a Saturday & was buried on a Sunday— When her face was sullen with grief & as she sneezed Profusely, The wards didn't allow me close to her, there I became The cry of a new born child. I only heard these words Of my grandmother who never lied— "I am not positive They didn't take care of me so I can be the lie who Feeds the belly of the government." Then a doctor lured me into a corner with a horror-striken Face & said "AwóbÍìyí, I couldn't do much because they Didn't allow me, your mother only had pneumonia..."
Akin-Ademola Emmanuel is a Nigeria-born writer who uses literature as a tool to stir souls toward critical issues. His works have appeared in Kalahari Review, Nantygreens, Active Muse, Communicators League and elsewhere.