I have a bank of them. Women. Mothers. Aunties. Sisters. Cousins. Nephews. Friends. Alive. Sleeping in the graveyard of memory. Staring at me from photos. Some I have never known. They are stories residing in the meseum of our family histories. I have gone to that past in my dreams where I’ve eaten from their pots, slept on their straw beds, listened to their chatters, their cackles, fought with them—the witches.
This photo is a faint paint of yesterday. I am wrapped in the strong arms of one. One of the many that have held me through the contours of this life. In the comfort of such, I am pitching my poise with pride as I still do. She slipped into the other side of life before adulthood stole in on me. Childhood is a fading patch of her eyes, hair, laughter, rebuke, and softness.
Next to her is the mild but fierce one. The two shades took turns to express themselves. When fierce, she shook like an earthquake to the strength of men locked inside her. She strolled out of here at childbirth. Her daughter wears her face.
Mama is still here. Her hair is leaving a space on the front part of her head. She breaths calm. Pushes the incessant tides of life under the carpet of her silence. Not tired of hoping. Not tired of being strong. She laughs. She smiles. But she is human.
And she says, Wait. Be patient. Every good thing will come.
Ifeanyichukwu Peter Eze is a contributing writer at Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. His works have appeared in: Pangolin Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Expound, Brittle Paper, The Single Story Foundation Journal, Selfies and Signatures Anthology, The Vanguard Book of Love Stories, Late Night Blues Anthology, BPPC Anthology, and a few other places. He was the winner of the May 2019 edition of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest with his poem, KILL. His Piece, ‘Life Deferred ‘ was in the top four of the January 2017 edition of the Igby Prize for nonfiction. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Diplomas in: Teaching Methodology, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languges (TESOL). Facebook.
Photo by Jessica Ruscello.