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InspiredLetters

Writer

Gospel Okoro is a writer and author of some books. He is also a public speaker who seeks to impact the younger generation through words.


Titles


The Girl Child


Screams of pain. Echoes of pleas. Subdued silence.

Agnes woke up panting like she had just seen a ghost in her dream. Her bed was soaked in nightmarish realities of her past. "Babe, what's up with you? This one you dey behave like fish inside water." Jessica jeered at Agnes still focused on the mirror applying all sorts of mascara and pomade on her face. "Babe," Jessica called again. Agnes paid deaf ears as she walked into the bathroom. Looking at the bathroom's mirror, the memories of time past began playing in front of her.

It all started when she was thirteen. She lost her parents in a car accident and had to stay with her mother's sister in Lagos. Her aunty was a workaholic, working three jobs in a day. In the mornings, she served as a cleaner in a factory; in the afternoon as a trader; in the evening as a nanny to one Chief Oluda. So, she's always home late. However her husband who was always home earlier was drunk and smelt of cheap cologne which nauseated Agnes.

With tears in her eyes, Agnes looked deeper into the eyes of the mirror as the images played faster.

On that particular night, her aunt's husband came home drunk as usual,passing his normal sexual advances which Agnes had reported to her aunty countless times but her aunty so trusted her husband to a fault, she wouldn't believe him to do such. Mr Husband tried forcing himself on Agnes but his drunk state limited him. "Those mangoes are ripe for sucking," he said to Agnes as he managed to cup one of them in his hand. "Uncle. No. No. Please. Please." Agnes begged on the top of her voice but it was too late. Like a lion tearing its prey, Mr Uncle tore at Agnes front and back to his satisfaction. Her muffled silence during the action thirty minutes later surged him with joy and strength. He felt like a man. When he was done, he kicked Agnes out of his room threatening to kill her if she ever spoke.

Agnes bled out her eyes with tears that night. She had lost her honeypot and soon she lost her honeycomb because it became a regular affair between she and her uncle. Every 6pm, she laid naked on his bed as instructed for the usual until this particular night her village people spelt her name correctly.

This time around,her uncle laid on the bed while he commanded her to slowly peal off her clothes as he watched the whole process of God creating Eve. That was when her aunty stepped in.

"What? Wetin you dey do my husband? Chineke ekula o," her aunty bolted at Agnes hitting her head on the wall thrice to show her frenzied anger. The husband quickly quipped in that he was trying to sleep while Agnes was trying to seduce him. That day, they beat Agnes blue and black leaving her cheeks sore with swollen marks. Like Joseph and Portiphar's wife's story, Agnes was thrown into prison - the prison of the wicked world's hands.

She had no where to go. So,she went to the nearest bridge to sleep and slip away from her problems and fears. Thirty minutes later she thought she was sleepy eyed seeing eleven trees. She cleaned them again. This time she saw eleven men who surrounded her. One covered her mouth while the rest undid their trousers zipper.

Screams of pain. Echoes of pleas. Subdued silence.



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Short story: Fate of the Gods


Adamma slept behind the wall of enmity between the other wives and her. Okonkwo hated her because she couldn't give him a son.

"Don't I give you children? Why do you hate me?" Adamma would ask. "Why...?"

And a slap would interrupt her. "What children? Give me men, warriors," Okonkwo will say amidst beating the woman. "Men, not weaker vessels."

Okonkwo felt like a man whenever he beat Adamma until that morning, his lifeless beside the stream. The chirping of the birds announced his death. Though his stomach was bloated, the village women couldn't tell what killed him; they only waited for the Ifa Priest.

On the night of Okonkwo's death, Adamma was seated outside when the cries of an owl was heard from her rooftop. It didn't take long for the people to know; while the other wives mocked at her, the villagers accused her of poisoning her husband. Punishment was by death.

It was too late. By the time the Ifa Priest finished the cleansing rituals at the stream, he was greeted by the hanging body of Adamma on a tree beside her house. Whereas Okonkwo died from drowning, the villagers killed the wrong person.



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Fate of the Gods


Adamma slept behind the wall of enmity between the other wives and her. Okonkwo hated her because she couldn't give him a son.

"Don't I give you children? Why do you hate me?" Adamma would ask. "Why...?"

And a slap would interrupt her. "What children? Give me men, warriors," Okonkwo will say amidst beating the woman. "Men, not weaker vessels."

Okonkwo felt like a man whenever he beat Adamma until that morning, his body lay lifeless beside the stream. The chirping of the birds announced his death. Though his stomach was bloated, the village women couldn't tell what killed him; they only waited for the Ifa Priest.

On the night of Okonkwo's death, Adamma was seated outside when the cries of an owl was heard from her rooftop. It didn't take long for the people to know; while the other wives mocked at her, the villagers accused her of poisoning her husband. Punishment was by death.

It was too late. By the time the Ifa Priest finished the cleansing rituals at the stream, he was greeted by the hanging body of Adamma on a tree beside her house. Whereas Okonkwo died from drowning, the villagers killed the wrong person.

#Thestory

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Minutes of Memories


The first thing you know is that you don't know how to run until you know how to run.

***

"Do you plead guilty?" The Judge asks, his glasses perches on the bottom of his nose.

"Do you -"

Although the ceiling fan whizzes faithfully, the room is still hot. It is still still hot.

You are held behind a dock not just by chains washing your hands and feet but by betrayal spoken in silence. Your hands, those large elements of bloody lust, gasp for the air of freedom, at least.

Anxiety is carefully sketched on the brown faces of the court.

The eyes in the room shining brighter than your future peep into your past.

***

Your anger started the day you met Mama sitting on the verandah; her wrapper had come undone, finger prints, five of them, kissed her cheeks, disheveled hair, and eyes blood red from crying. And Papa walked around like four walls with the paintings of Mama's curse words hanging on them.

"Prostitute!"

"Jobless drunk!"

Whenever they quarrelled, there was a cold war; minutes grew into hours, hours into days, days into weeks...

You know the air in your compound smells of their daily quarrells, yet you do nothing, can do nothing but run away. Away from it. It's now normal that if you see Papa saying I love you to Mama, you wonder if something is wrong, if it's a dream.

You keep on dreaming but the pain from the cuffs whisper reality into your eyes.

***

"Do you plead guilty?"

The atmosphere is now condensed like the hot thick pap Mama does for you and Ike every Saturday morning.

In nanoseconds, you could be kissing Mother Earth goodbye just from one statement of one man. One! One!

You look around, wanting to say the truth. Say it anyway!

But then you keep quiet.

***

That fateful day you were greeted by distant sounds of fighting. You know it's Mama and Papa again!

"Not again," you mumble and walk into the sitting room sluggishly.

Your sight beheld a liquid on the burgundy carpet. No, it was not water, it was blood, that sacred stream of life's mystery, Mama's blood!

"Daddy, stop, please, stop," your younger brother, Ike, screams, kept on screaming. He tugs at you to do something because the overflowing blood scares him. But you do nothing, can do nothing but run away. Away from it.

"Daddy! Daddy!"

The punches come in quick successions. Mama's body lay half-dead, half-consYou'vehalf-consYou'vehalf-consYou'vehalf-consYou've

The punches come in quick successions. Mama's body lay half-dead, half-consYou'vehalf-consYou've on the floor decorated with blood.

on the floor decorated with blood. on the floor decorated with blood.

"Daddy-"

The blood melts into thin air, into your eyes, forming a dark cloud, maybe an envelope on the canopy of your eyelids.

You can no longer take it.

So, you grab Papa by the neckcollar of his shirt but he pushes you away. Once, twice, thrice.

Your anger gets the better part of you when you forget the scissors in your hand in his neck.

Blood gushing out, Papa dies within minutes. The same minutes with which everything falls apart.

Papa is dead. Dead!

***

You know you should run. But you also know that you don't know how to run until you know how to run. Instead your feet glues to the roof of the earth and your tongue embraces silence.

Your mother's eyes, though dull with darkness, will you to run away. Still, you don't run, you don't want to run. You don't want to run but still run. Still, run!

Don't run again. The police are waiting out of your house.

"Who called them?" you kept asking.

***

Now.

You pose, one knee up, one knee down, before a congregation of rifles about to blow your dream off. An eye closed, you remember minutes of memories that you never can forget. Memories such as your younger brother calling the police against you, in fear. Memories such as the night you mixed rat poison in Mama's drinking water instead of Papa's.

You tiptoe through life into the bars of death. You are now your own fate. Can you run away from it?

#TheRun



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Letters to Izu


October 11, 2021

11:59PM:

Dear Izu,

As I write to you, sleep no longer makes love with me under the blanket of my eyes. Into the future I stare through the pages of your life these past years. Silence glues to my mouth's rooftop but I still, still write. My white paper unevenly stretched upon my bedside table lacks the courage to communicate to the energy, ripple hot, boiling in my veins, but I still, still write. I write to remind my future months that my now is hotly in chase after him.

I know you've fallen several times. Why did you fall? Wrong question! Rise again! Not once should you let your back remain on the ground. Once? Not once!

If a child falls, he immediately stands up and begins running again. But if an adult falls, he checks around to see what made him fall. What made you fall Izu? Those mistakes, those mis-steps, those wrong risks, those... whatever it is, don't let them define you, Izu. Keep moving. Mistakes are only a part of life and not the determinant of your end. Keep moving!

Men, youths, men.

Women, youths, women.

All. All. All.

Look and see persons whose feet can't be calculated on the sand of time as they run past you. Don't be bothered. Don't be bothered. Don't be, Izu. Life is in stages. One, two, three. Three. Two. One. And you don't fly the staircase to get to your destination, do you? Keep on following the process Izu. That process may not be convenient but it will produce proceeds that will inconvenience your storeroom. Where you are now is only but a revelation of the much you'd become tomorrow.

Don't give up the process yet. Orange sits on the high table of the King because it went through the process of crushing. Gold becomes necklace, beautiful and admirable, on a Queen's neck because it went through the process of fire. Izu, those failures, mistakes, setbacks, mis-steps, trying times, moments of wanting to throw in the towel, are your process. If you lose it, you lose it.

Every athlete gets to the finish line, don't they? What matters is not who got there first but how they got there. And how you get there is your process! Your time may come in the next six months but before it comes, be sure you're preparing real hard and not running on another's lane.

Your name has spread to many houses you don't even know of. Your books spread a red carpet whenever you walk the online streets. Your public speeches has touched the destiny of men, even yet unborn. Keep moving; that's not the end. There's still room for more. Leave your name printed on the walls of time, forever. For ever! Touch the world with your books and words and the boots of your life; that's where you would be in the later, starting from now!

The only difference between where you are now and where you should be is consistency. And that is one code that never walks out the door of your lips. I commend you for that! Izu, keep being consistent; your results will double!

Keep on striving for more personal development. Upgrade. Build your system. And like I've always told you, three principles that make you: GRACE, CONSISTENCY, HARDWORK. Print them on the tables of your heart. Let them be the Google maps to your future.

It is also not my desire for you to tiptoe through life into death without making impact, without being heard, without touching lives, without... This is why you were created, Izu. Just as a little reminder: when a product doesn't perform the reason for it's creation, what happens?

Well Izu, I couldn't wait that long before you answer me... Sleep has finally made its way to the doorstep of my eyes. See you in the later!

Till I write to you again.

Your other half.



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Nightfall


Nightfall

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Crobefore of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilt ? guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.



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Nightfall


Nightfall

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Crobefore of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilt ? guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.

Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.



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Nightfall


Nightfall

Crouched before a congregation of rifles, an eye closed, Papa cupped his palms to receive a thousand black bullets into his heart.

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge asks, his glasses relaxing on his nose.

Though Papa's hands were cuffed by betrayal, his lips kissed silence. The Court's eyes shone brighter than his future and peeped into his past.

***

Ike's anger began the day he saw Mama's wrapper come undone and five fingers romanced her cheeks. He knew. He saw Papa's leathered belt hook broken into pieces.

The next morning, the quarreling voices crept slowly into Ike's room. Ike and Woye both rushed into the kitchen. He was not too late as Mama's spattered blood on the floor greeted him. And Papa was bent over Mama with a steel knife in his hand.

***

"Guilty? or not guilty?" the judge, still, still asked with a frown hanging loosely at the side of his mouth.

The gavel sealed his fate: to die.

"Fire!"

Ike watched as Papa posed in death. One knee up, an eye closed, he remembers the memories of the night he mistakenly puts rat poison in Mama's tea instead of Papa's.

Mama died before she killed herself.



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Boy on a Tree (first published in UpWriteNG Magazine)


On a tree,

I hear jungle drums;

speakers of the heart of ancient spirits,silent

at the boisterous waves of the West Sea.

The innocence of the sea is raped by the barrel of a gun

its bank now serve as a burial ground for slaves

and the market where women sold garri and beans

now turns to a commercial zone of skulls and bones.

On the tree,

I can see the lappa that kissed the twin milk goddess on my mother's chest

exchanged for a string of two cups hung on the shoulder

and my Father's goat horn exchanged for a piece of glass.

From the top of the tree,

I reach out to hold the blue sky

for light from the brutal hands of the boisterous waves of the West Sea.

Where is the birth of my heritage?



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Captives of the Past


⏱️

Sleep has left watery marks on my eyes...

...I checked my time and saw it was yesterday.

My body and mind was living in today but in reality, my life was in yesterday.

______________________

Yesterday has a door and most of us live behind it. The pain, the hurts, the mistakes, from the past, live with us in the present.

It's the same way most of us are not yet in 2021 while some of us are already in 2031; the understanding of time.

Time gives us an opportunity to go into the past and learn from the mistakes we've made but if you dwell there, you can't get into tomorrow.

You've made a mistake in the past, it should be a step in the present to build the future. 

Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.

You were hurt, angered, and pained in the past, it should be a fuel to do positive things for the future.

If you fell down yesterday, stand up today. 

Don't nurse the aborted dreams and successes of yesterday when tomorrow is pregnant. 

Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.

The success of yesterday is tomorrow's failure. Read it again



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Miracle Boy


Miracle Boy

Your boy is a miracle.

The day he cried, his voice flashed like lightening; his tears flowed like rain. His laugh is a rainbow of colours. His frown is a basket of overripe mangoes, spoilt.

His hair is a patched brown of empty fields. Nothing on his jaw, small thing on his head. His ear is a broken chinaware. His nose, a pump machine, breathing in air, breathing out smoke.

Ever since your boy turned ten, you opened his chest and buried a war of survival drowning in a stream of prayers.

***

"You are a man," you whispered slowly on the night his tears wet the earth. "Never cry!"

"You are a man," you shouted loudly the morning he couldn't carry a log of wood. "Work hard!"

"You are a man," you warned, "old enough to impregnate a woman."

"Give me grandchildren!" You sang into the silence called his name.

***

The pages of your boy's life are sketches of a manly frame dripping drop dead with beauty. When he moves, he does so in flames of freedom burning the faded flowers on his head. His eyes hold the Google map to the darkest minutes of your memories, everything you once wished for and didn't have.

Your boy is the voice of the man you want to love. The uneven track road on his palms hold the direction to everything you find and find in a man.

On the morning of his tenth birthday, you taught him how to worship the ugliest parts of his body into cities of beauty; showed him how his body is an element of lust and love.

"Admire it till it becomes a god," you sang into his ears.

You taught him to create emptiness into pride.

***

On the night of his fifteenth birthday, you took him to your room and slowly uncovered the silence wrapped around his shoulders. Hard, you pushed him onto the bed and crawled lazily towards him. He wondered silently.

Till today, he still hears the creak creak creak sound in the room of betrayal. Up and down, melody rhyming through his brain, you bounced on his poor thing, that shrivel head of a limp man hiding under his pants. The noise from that tutorial crept into his bed and sleeps with him every night, every morning. It sounded like the voices of naked men and women playing in Aunty Jide's phone.

You taught him what it means to be a man.

***

Your boy is now a man.

Full beards walking leisurely over his face, he smiles the smile of foolishness.

His maturity is hidden somewhere, everywhere, but beneath his face having the air of a forty year old baby.

The scars of the past follow him everywhere. In the bedroom; in the church; everywhere.

The up and down movement still caresses his ears. How disdainful, he must have been the worst sinner on planet Mars.

Through the scars, he runs through walls.

Your boy is a miracle.