Kalyna Review

Lind Grant-Oyeye

About the author

 

Lind Grant-Oyeye was born in Nigeria. She has published works in several magazines in various countries. She contributed, through poetry, to the cultural project on the Greek economic crisis, an anthology of poems on the migration/refugee crisis, and won the human rights poetry award of the UHRSN. She has published a chap book of poetry: The gift: twelve days of Christmas, and also just completed her first full collection of poems.

Mheas féin

 

Each night, my dreams tell me that we were born same day, to a world

we had both anticipated but

you slowly died as I grew and searched for a place to hold

another dream, a place to bury confusion.

It was neither a lack of sunlight nor

the absence fertilized soil you landed that put you to sleep –

remember the first time those words came

flying like double edged swords,

while Jimmy and Jane did the jiggly jigs and reels, our favorite Irish steps

as if they forgot we had attended grammar class

together- piercing words like a hunter’s sling shot.

How I tried to exhume you as seen on TV -forensic files,

a wish to make you my own for life.

Did I know roses and lilies are

only dreamed flowers made for romance series?

 

Remember the first time that fist slowly curled.

Remember those colorful words,

how Jonathan’s flowers for me never made it out of

the honeymoon suite as we made our way home to Lagos.

 

Remember how I didn’t feel it was a crazy idea to search the

back garden for the treasures lost some place else.

How I dig daily, hands soiled, face windswept, eyes scotching.

I search for that dream where my mam said

a woman’s place is not to search for that which

no longer belongs to her,

as I hear her say what is gone is gone.

 

 

Glossary:

mheas féin- self esteem in Irish

Lost channels

 

I wish for words to write

about you, it is almost all about

You.

 

How you softly sang songs

stolen from unknown FM

stations.

 

Stolen with gloved prints

which left no

Marks.

 

I carefully listened to

pelting rock like rain

drops

 

wash finger prints

slowly away , tune

rusty antenna to missing

Channels.

 

Waves lost to earth, to sky

between you and stale

songs.

 

L’Enfant perdu

 

I am a lost African

Are you African?

Are you lost?

We search for our motherland.

Is this motherland?

Do you search?

I hang hope on trembling grounds

Do you tremble too?

Do you hope?

 

Glossary: l’enfant perdu: the lost child

Trauma

 

Bro……….ken trees

Sp~la~ tt ~ ere ~ d bones

Split/ hearts

Pa,I wish you had whispered once or twice,

waved those yellowed old  signs we exhumed yesterday.

I wish you had spoken of wait times, overburdened

healers and sleepless nights.

How time comes to us, not a slow healer.

but one who gazes on dehiscent wounds.

Lessons my mother almost taught me

 

I come to you almost contrite as I was the day

we became and I longed to be me as I was.

Remember how we shared our thoughts from our

bassinets solemnly and gazed into the

untouched tomorrow, undefiled. We had found

peace in the dreamed posterity that would have

been us. We tried to grow like the strong

bamboo trees which decorated the fading landscapes.

We smelt the aroma of the decadent treats from

fired clay pots as we hoped for fires in our bones.

But you my sister, was cracked with the cracking

Sound of dawn, the wakefulness which became

your reality. How we danced with the steps made

for beauty as we celebrated your sun set with the

dawn of dew and we listened to the chatter of

the clan as they talked about the strength of

your thighs. How they felt it was as special as gold

as you tried to make your way into womanhood.

It was your shrieking shout, piercing the eerie air

which taught me about your pains, your treasure

violated. Remember we heard the roaring talking drums,

celebrating the forced sensibility of your sensuality.

How you grew like me but found no footstool

on your dreamed road , our cradles pulled

in different directions. I come to you almost contrite

for being me and you, you.