Journalism In Verse


Have You Seen My Mother?

in Africa/World by

Early History to Pre-Colonial Period, 11,000 BC – 1800 AD

Have you seen my mother?
I weep; they laugh; you
Will weep and pity, perhaps.
A blue blooded damsel,
Loved and respected by
The Germanics.
To a fault, hospitable.

ii. Colonial Era, 1800 AD – 1960 AD

Til her guests bounded her;
With strong, strong strings.
Tears embraced her
Beautiful face. Her
Big bold body bounded; beaten.

I weep as her pains
I feel.
Her wealth looted
By the lionic lambs.
Helpless she was
Just as Darwin predicted.

Her Eden plundered.
Her parents pulled
Off the ground.
Like a scorpion
She was.
Tears inevitable, I weep.

Forced to marry this man
That now is my father.
A strange man from
Parched lands.
A gold digger,
Grateful to these lambs.

Weep with we; she became
A slave
In her very own palace.
Washing the feet
Of her erstwhile subjects

She invoked Jesus
To rescue her bosom,
Her bosom which
I sucked.
How nutritious it was.
Her warmth inviting.

Daddy befriended Kudirat,
The mother of his god,
To consolidate his
Dug up fortunes.
Happiness, since then
Eluded mama; weep with we.

Mummy crafted many epistles
To the lionic lambs;
Please in peace, exeunt
My palace.
Daddy entreated them;
Ignore her rants, stay.

Weep with we you all –
Father is traitor
Traitor! Traitor! Traitor! But
Jesus granted mummy’s novena;
Mummy was returned her palace.
Dad, happy, unhappy and scheming.

iii. First Republic, 1960-1979

Papa usurped mama’s
Imposed his laws on
Mummy’s kingdom.
Confiscated many of her
Hard earn’d monies.

Dad’s extended family
Gave in to
Cliques and divisions.
Mom’s followed suit.
And for years we drank
Mary’s water.

iv. Nigeria-Biafra War, 1967 – 1970

Boom! boom! boom!
Kingdom torn apart.
Jostling, everyone,
For a portion.
My cousins were

Thorns stuck into their
Failing flesh.
Powders pushed into
Their private parts,
Just to consolidate the
Control of their tributes,

These lionic lambs
Aside, sat.
Watched. Indifferent.
In adultery alone.
My mother’s bosom they lust.

v. Second and Third Republics 1979 – 1999

Have you seen my father?
I hate him not,
I love him not,
Neither indifferent.
He loves no Jesus
And I have no faith in Kudirat.

Once in every gregory
We gather for their
Marital anniversary.
And many my brothers
Eat oxygen only
And my sisters; sleep in funny farms.

Many my siblings,
We sing bollywood hymns
And simultaneously play in Chinese.
Yet they sacrifice
To the goddess of blood.

Mama cries every
Father Chris gives us
And Jesus stares us in the

vi. Fourth Republic 1999 – Present

Father and his favorites
Say we must emulate.
Mother carefully crafts;
Lifting the olive stick.
Yet, undecided.
Deal, broken.

God weeps.
Mummy bankrupts
By the day.
Once a Forbes woman;
Tender from babies.

Weep, weep, weep,
Weep up floods.
Mama is frail
And weak.
Bishop Chris’ divisions
Numbering and dividing.

Mummy will never
Be happy.
Whitney told her:
Houston epistled me,
Divorce is the key.
Serve him the papers.

Have you seen my mother?
Preach it to her. Sing it to her.
Rather be alone than unhappy.

Success Akpojotor is a poet, novelist and screenwriter. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Nigerian Observer, Tuck Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, among others. Born in Benin City, Nigeria, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Benin and now lives in Lagos Island.

Latest from Africa


Endling [AUDIO]

By Jane Satterfield. On the fate of the rhino, horns, elixirs, and

When I Dreamt of Rain

By Christopher Greer. South Africa works to postpone "Day Zero"—the day taps


By Michael Kang'a. As the ivory trade continues, an elephant never
Go to Top