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    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
    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
    replicated my scars
    on the body of a neighbour’s daughter

    © Saddiq Dzukogi

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    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.

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    Deep very deep in deed.

    sally Mukii

    Wow!! The ending though….sins of the father repeated by the son:-/ this is amazing poetry


    Great piece Saddiq… I can feel its verisimilitude


    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


    That ending…chills!


    the pacing is so apt, there are layers to this poem, wow

    Abigail Arunga

    Beautiful. Prolific.

    Akuya Ekorot

    leaves a tight grip in your tummy. Beautiful.


    One of those pieces that lives one speechless. Poignant.

    Innocence Silas

    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

    Graciano Enwerem

    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.


    WOW. gripping read!

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