I am learning to love my child
whose father split my legs
into an opened brochure
to read hallowed letters of a sacred light

I am learning to love him
even when his pout
is the picture
of a man who snatched
the knowledge of how to smile
from my spout
I am learning to love
my child

My face clouds up at will
when his air comes to remind
of that day’s odour
when a skin bruised mine
and razor-sharp fingers
cut thick anguish
whose scars
refuse to shrink

I am learning to love him
even when he bites my nipple
while I fed him and I am
reminded
of how his father’s teeth tore them
I am learning to love
my child

He grew and learned to talk
with his father’s voice
the monster who dug a hole
into me and stained the floor
with his water and my blood

The beginning was no word
just a flower that blew off
         in its bud
the air was all dark desires
lost, pure as light in his bulbs
no spot reads “darkness begins from these dots”.
But a monster hand
went into my skirt
and sowed
what I am still learning to love
until he became a man
in his father’s shadows
     and
replicated my scars
on the body of a neighbour’s daughter

© Saddiq Dzukogi

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About Author

Saddiq M. Dzukogi is an award winning poet, a rising voice in the literary circle in Nigeria. He is proud of two poetry collections; Images of life (2004), Canvas 2011 (shortlisted for 2012 ANA Poetry Prize) and Sunbeams & Shadows. He was the maiden winner of ANA/Mazariyya Teen Authorship Prize for poetry back in 2007.

12 Comments

  1. Jesus! This piece scared the hell out of me in so many ways. I hope and pray i will be a better father than my father.
    Awesome piece

  2. Innocence Silas on

    This poem is very touching and hits the heart with so much passion.

    That ending, though. It sends chills into my spines, too.

    Great work, saddiq

  3. Graciano Enwerem on

    Disgustingly interesting. The twist in the end reminds me of how much I hated some of those epic tragic movies set in Italy and/or Greece where your favorite actor dies and leaves you in the gutters of pitiable sorrow dug by unwitting empathy. I’m so sorry for the persona. Keep writing sir. Some of us want to learn more.

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