Chris Jibero

(Ugbawka)

Good Night, My Empress


Mama! Mama! Mama!
Called I but “Nna di m”
Your usual response
Was not forthcoming
Again did I call
Mama! Mama! Mama!
Even tapping you so I
Could stir and elicit
That charming trademark
Smile of yours
Yet no answer again
As though placing
A long distance call
To an indifferent, cold
And callous party
And the harrowing
Reality dawned on me
That you have gone
To the abode of saints
Your rightful place of peace

Mama, the spring of my life
And the pilot of my existence
You never flew me in an
Ill-fated plane
My beacon to safe landing
Lighted all day


Mama, you pampered me like
A chaste of treasure
Beyond my total acceptance
Fearing my siblings’ jealousy
Not wanting to be another
Joseph in a coat of many
Colours but you always had
Reasons for all your actions:
I was your sun and mirror
The security and pillar
Of your marriage

Mama, you starved
That I might eat
Went about in rags
That I might have the best of wears
Sold your treasured Holland wrappers
And pawned your gold jewellery
That I might get educated
Which you said was key to greatness
A bundle of sacrifice you were to all
Whose paths crossed yours

Mama, you were a man – woman
That wadded through terrains
That Men with solid two eye balls
And two more balls in a sac
Dangling between their legs
Could not dare to cast a glimpse
At and shone brighter than
A million dry season stars
You are my jewel, my pearl
And my priceless gem
A fountain of inexhaustible
Milk flowed bountifully from your
Nourishing breasts

And the day I feared most and prayed
Should never come
Finally appeared like a gory spectre
For your maker deemed it wise
To have you back
And who can stand in His tracks
Because He is greater than a moving train

Mama, if there was an atonement
To make you tarry
A little longer here
I would have readily given it
But at last I do know that
At the end of a tunnel, there is light
At the end of a journey, there is a rest
At the end of a war, there is a truce
At the end of hatred, there is love
At the end of poverty, there is affluence
At the end of a lie, there is some truth
At the end of a night, there is a day
At the end of youth, there is old age
And at the end of life, there is death
A sure passage for mortals
Though never fully embraced
By the living and always coming like a
Master thief of old, stealthily and relentlessly
Yet at the end of mourning, there is joy

Mama, my unisex parent,
My lioness, my teacher, my model,
My everything
Take my credit and join it with yours
Because all you rightly earned
Adieu and good night
My Empress.

(c) Chris Jibero.2005.

Submitted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Edited: Thursday, July 29, 2010

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