Where Were You? Poem by Jude Ogunade

Where Were You?

Once was I sated - sweet with sorrow,
Hapless, helpless for coins to borrow,
And sweet sweat sat upon my eyebrow.
They disregarded me anyhow!

Now, foes, friends, frenemies disturb,
'Marry man, marry, your time is up!
Why do you slate yours slowly till late
And why drag us to question your state? '

My mind shook itself, perturbed, resolved.
Like a dog will do when bone aroused.
I wandered, and hurried through my thought
Sunk seated, I now say what I ought:

Where were you when orphaned Adelanke
Was discarded like a piece of diskette?
Where were you when Carol silently sobbed
For quadrant scions to Adeoye?

Where were you when Felicia deemed it just
To make me drum beaten for fun and play
And machine to keep on the household chores
And my body boiled in beaten array?

Where were you when I immersed my child's mind
Learning, yearning, wanting a wonder kind?
Where were you when the clothe of a prefect
Become tattered like a tip torn school vest?

Where were you when Wasiu covered the jest
At jogs was among the best from the rest?
Where were you when jealous relatives said
For my success they would soil my best?

Where were you when my mentor Bunmi 'left'
Without word to crooks lies and falsehood cleft
To Belgian's immigrations and home lies
And I was left to cater for myself?

Where were you when mosquitoes in myriads
Showered me on with malaria kisses
And my body heated like a hot pan
With the Eperokuns easing the temp?

Where were you when Adeoye struck me
With cane and boldly say go away now
No stipend here I am not your father
And from then on I became my father?

Where were you when an omolehinwa
Struck my name out like a piece of price ware
And cared less if I was born of human
Or of ape, refusing his signature?

Where were you when Kukus and Oyekans
Were the ones to melt my mind with a bed
And offered their roofs for my hurting head
Whilst my mind counted several years ahead?

Where were you when envious jogs seniors
And a reluctant jogs classmate sang, said
With teasing taunts, jaunts: go and register
Whilst omolehinwa was determined?

Where were you when apathy filled classmates
Left me alone, bittered, to face my fate
Except one Olusegun Maiyegun
Ready to wage Aluta to ASA?

Where were you when cafes, libraries, classrooms
Became my homes and with internet devour
Science with arts, business, occult and 'all'?
Thanks, Oyinbo, for all and all with love!

Where were you when paid paparazis
On behalf of Ogunades' black sheeps
Took my photos and videos anywhere
Wanting 'my wrongs' to cover their evils?

Where were you when the rain soaked me to toes
And in pain and pangs clutch the cold and moaned
And no one heard my voice, my thoughts and groans
Except the sound of rains nailing the ground?

Where were you when doves, ring doves, pigeons, crows
And vultures pestered me with grey hairs dose
For the streets were my homes and house?
Where were you? Where were you? I shout and shout!

Tell me then, perhaps my orikunkun would heed,
And hearken to your sweet juju spliced speech.
Never urge me again for the waiting
Tai will take the sheets off the bed at last!

- Jude Ogunade

Jude Ogunade

Jude Ogunade

Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
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