Our Lipton-scorched tongues told no lies
When we sang those early morning hymns.
This was before seven hours of
Dozing, learning, reciting and
Staring out of windows wondering where
The dirt-covered road lead.
Laundry, comic book art and name-calling
Followed hurried lunches.
Those soiled roll-on deodorant balls
We smacked around with our new sandals,
Made good tennis games better.
We would compete or cheer in the
Occasional grappling and quarrelling
Over which superhero was strongest.
As evening arrived and skies cooled,
A good shower or contraband perfume
Masked our uncultured selves
When we greeted pretty counterparts for night…
On a whim I took a train to nowhere.
A stowed vehicle reminded me of
My dad’s old whip
And how it wheezed and cracked when it hit
Those burnt out Lagos roads.
Oh captain, my captain!
I have found that conformity,
Is peace and warmth reassuring;
’Tis a life of comforting meals and ravenous dreams.
To have freedom is to nibble away
At joy till it becomes intoxicating.
To loosen up oneself and
Plunge into the unknown
Is to dare Death but truly live.
When ambitious youth dream,
Do they wake up to know that
All roads converge in one?
That flying too close to the sun
Will only leave them undone?
I remember creating my first social media account and being prompted to follow a suggested list of popular accounts. I remember asking for a follow back from every new person I followed, both friends and strangers. I remember the flood of unusual excitement that followed a ping from my phone. I remember feeling rejected when, after hours, there were no engagements on my posts; no comments, no shares, no retweets, no new follows and no likes. I remember admiring people who had several followers and viral activity on their profiles. I remember the feeling of want and lack while I…