Poetry: Young Farmer
After gulping down a breakfast of overnight cassava meal
And agbono soup, my grandfather handed me the aboh
Containing a calabash of water and a small cutlass.
The perfumes of wild flowers filled my nostrils
And my dirty farm clothes so wet as I pushed
Through the overgrown bush of the farm road
Covered by glistening dew until the heat of
Climbing sun would burn it away.
Hawks circled overhead
Looking for prey.
As I cleared the weeds with my grandfather
He sang as if farming was the most enjoyable
Work on earth under a scorching sun.
Halfway through the morning
I was sent to the thatch hut
To rest and by mid-day
We had a lunch of
Green vegetable mixed with fresh pepper and tomato.
As work commenced I mistakenly cut a yam stem
On my head and back descended my grandfather’s
Ibeli; and a piercing scream I gave.
Just as the sun began to turn
Crimson on the western
Fetched me a bundle of
Light wood to carry home
To my grandmother for cooking;
Rubbed with soot like a white soldier
Disguising for war I headed home.
The smoke drifting from the women’s kitchens
Was my compass back to the village which was not too far.
The closer the happier I became; by the time I sauntered into
My grandmother’s hut I was too tired to stand on my feet having
Being used to taking cabs in the city where I resided with my parents
My grandmother looked at me and laughed ‘Young Farmer welcome.’
Aboh is a woven rectangular carrier made of cane.
Ibeli is stranded whip used in the village by elderly men.
Agbono soup is soup cooked with grinded seeds of agbono fruits.
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