Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Poem from Big Girl

by Tosin Otitoju

Please don’t call me “Madam”
In that way you have
Of lowering your head
Then darting forth
in my service.
You are making fun of me!
Is it money you want?
And go.

I got your message.
The one you share with
The rest of your people
When I’m not here.
The one in your eyes,
Which I can’t see
When your head is down.
The message that
hit me today
when I read that story
about the corrupt people
destroying their country.

I read about rising anger,
The streets unsafe,
With the accounting
For past deeds.

In the story,
Many were pulled
Out of their
Jeeps and mansions.
Some climbed into the trees
But were forced back down,
Pelted with coconuts.
The guilty were beaten.
Their clothes were torn
To reveal their
Pink baboon yansh –
Funny enough,
Just like everybody else’s.

Don’t call me “Madam”
When your blood is boiling
And you just want to
Drive a bamboo pole
through my chest
when the day comes.

I went to the animal fair.
I found crazy money there.
I arranged my pink yansh,
Adorned it with a sash,
I combed my ebony hair.

Just as baba with his friends
Terrorized the pups with his strength,
My sorority –
Called The Nipples Of Bling –
Brought the ladies to represent.

I’m guilty as sin.
They said we built a clinic –
Ha, we built a stage set.
With the lights and camera
At a special angle,
It looked like bricks and cement.
We spliced in sick people
Connected to drips.
They said we built a clinic –
We built CSR,
Corporate Social Responsibility,
There’s crazy money there.

So don’t call me “Madam”
With your head lowered
Suggesting I give you something,
When you are the royal
And I am the thief.

Don’t you call me “Madam.”
You won’t be calling me that
When your eyes are mad,
Your rage is exposed,
And the pole is through my heart.

Don’t you call me “Madam,”
Bloody hypocrite.
I am not in the mood.

1 comment:

t said...

I wrote this like two years ago, to be published in a new collection next year. I'm really excited about next year's collections, and those scheduled for the year after. I'm super excited about this year's collection (Yalla!) but I'm really bummed that it's been delayed this long. Absolutely have to get that book out this year, but it's been such a financial mess this year has been. Crazy, Nigerian, turbulent.