There will always be that place
Somewhere between time and space where grace shines
Like the efflorescent moon hanging as a necklace
Drop dead center in the middle of the tart black streets of this concrete jungle
With traffic horns blaring
And street lights standing like chandelier trees about this mistake called civilization
If you are brave enough, you will look up to the sky
And be reminded that whether the horns blare or bust,
Whether the chandler tree seize to persists
Or whether the ground opens up and swallows the roads and everything in it,
This moon shine will reach you wherever you are, and it will always be your safety.
There will always be that chance,
It will hit you like a lightning bolt on a clear summer day at the hour of noon,
It will bring you to your knees,
But you can trust you are always safe in it.
It will be like the shadow of God made man,
An obscure hybrid of every super hero you may ever know,
But he will only be a man,
A good man,
And his shadow will be your safety,
His voice will be your moonlight in those days you are lost,
He will be the lightning bolt at noon, he will be that chance,
He will find you in your weakest hour and sing you a mantra of hope.
There is a wall in my father’s house,
12ft tall I have checked,
But the pictures on this wall have history long like that of china.
It tells a tale of all the heads of the family since the beginning of our name,
Often I have stared at these pictures
Reminiscing how I am the striking image of his naiveté
Naiveté is a French word, its origin means inborn character,
And I have wondered did he once stand here to, in naiveté,
Staring at the image of his father
I wonder if he is anything like his father,
I wonder if these bastions
That stand guard over my solitude where once shared with him,
I wonder if he carries the voice and poise of the thousands of our ancestors
Or he is just winging it like the rest of us.
I wonder how hard it is,
Living and breathing for everyone else in his family.
The calm in his domineer the natural habitat I have built my foundations through,
His gaze the earthquake if have always called safety.
I pray you speak well upon me this day.
I see how his eyebrows thick like forest
And hair line curved like crescent moon,
Is a leaf passed down through generations on your family tree
That he have since passed on to me
I wonder what else he have passed down to me,
What else he is scared to passed down to me ,
I wonder if he is ever scared.
I wonder if he is scared that I ever become him.
That the ghosts he runs from on the streets of Abuja
May ever become be my ghosts.
I wonder if he has an answer to this.
It is alright not to have all the answers
Like when I ask for the solution to simple algebra
And he rewrites the entire textbook,
Pythagoras and all his apostles be damned.
And so it is said,
Fathers and songs agree on everything but the answer,
But I bet we can agree on this.
We are both great looking men.
Above all the lessons taught to me by my father,
The ones that drilled the deepest holes in my memories
Are the ones he teaches without his words.
He often kissed the lips of my mother before he ate her meals,
That she may always reminded,
The only thing he ever hungered for was her love.
He often spends hours on the phone with his mother listening to her breathe,
He surprised our taste buds with his excellent cooking.
And when my son one days stands in this spot reminiscing,
And I pray you meet him, and he asks me, Dad
I wonder if you are anything like your father.
I pray I am brave enough to tell him,
I am flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood.
He is the very fabric of my existence,
And you son are everything like your grandfather,
This hairline curved like the crescent moon,
This eyebrow thick like forest is a promise.
That one day you too will be on this wall,
That you too will never die, and if ever you are lost,
I pray I be your moonlight in the sky,
And if all is failed,
I will be your lighting storm at noon,
I will be that chance
And this naiveté will be our promise to our sons until the end of time.
By Gerald IBe @JamalMoor.