Underneath my Mother’s Mattress (2011)

How to cook.

Recipes scribbled on torn sheets.

How-Tos for Egusi soup and Ila Asepo.

Cigarette rolls of marriage insurance

squirreled away in old-school jars of Horlicks


Long-distance love.

Letters spelled with longing.

Fading oil spots mark where floral scents once rose

German stamps that drew envious giggles


The heady feeling raunchy cartoons can bring.

Exaggerated penises.

Peeping Toms in makeshift bathrooms

painting early portraits of suffering, smiling people

with heads buried in the sand

Nackson. Ikebe Super

side by side tracts that promised the fiery furnace

-Brimstone for readers of evil material.

I picked a side.




Images I could fathom and yet not comprehend.

white lingerie I couldn’t envision her in

Black and white photos

Men that looked almost translucent,

holding almost violently,

women with hair cascading past button breasts.

I learnt her love of these pretty dolls



Romance 101.

From fiery headed tutors on Harlequin front covers,

gifting strange aches that I welcomed.

The promise of sweet escape

from heavy treading that terrorized silent corridors.

The art of Silence.

The rewards of Submission.

Putting your dreams on the back burner

watching him pursue his.

Going Pro at believing your own lies.

Absolute dedication to the service of Man.

The graven image propped by the pillar, Culture.

To master every hurt that womanhood would convey

there was,

a lesson underneath my Mother’s mattress.

This poem was posted on 2011/10/25 on my ‘ex-blog’ -21stcenturystorytelleress


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