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Yesterday’s Meadow,Tomorrow’s Horizon

By Biolaephesus60 @biolaephesus

I used to wonder what I would feel like as I approach seventy. I remember when I was 69 my children smiled and said my seventieth was going to be their show, I would be Mama 70 and theywould laugh. I celebrate my birthdays. Always emerging from weeks of contemplation thankful and quiet. I rarely had a birthday party until I got to my sixties.
I remember a birthday some half a century ago. I had suddenly decided to visit my village, The oddest thing was I was a boarding student then and rarely was granted exeat like other students. The civil war had justended and my father as a former police officer had retired as a security officer fora timber company. During the civil war, he had been captured by the rebel soldiers and held hostage until his junior officers confirmed e was not Igbo and he was released withhis bosswhowas British then. For the three months, he was away with the igbos I had become an emergency head of family. Ihad gone through the harrowing experience of burying a man who was cut down in a barrage of gun fire by drunken federal soldiers in ourpresence. I slept with the sound of that gunfire for nights until my father who turnedup weeks later shared the experiences with me. When the young igbo widow roamed the streets crying and holding her new born helplessly, relief came when papa went looking for the commanding officer and ensured the woman was taken intocare. One meadow that stayed dark for ever. In the dark, I could only see my confusion, my hate. In the dark was my cry of the Western riots years earlier, when we stood on the balconies and tried which group of thugs were in the horizon and yelled ‘UPGA: or other wise in order to stay alive as #operation wetie’ ravaged Lagos. We survived the long walks , the yellingcrowds and sometimes the flames. In that meadow came the civil war. I had igbo friends had started teaching my dad some of the igbo phrases my friends taught me and I even has my first go oyfriend
The horizon? At that time, it was hazy, dark. You stared at everyone suspiciously. I learnt I was Yoruba, I had grown up in the North, the wide open dusty spaces of school, speaking Hausa with my schoolmates,folktales, Mr. Abdul andhis funny shoes. Hausa jokes barely could speak Yoruba, My step mother who brought meup could only teach me in Hausa, she was Shuwa Arab, It did not mean anything. My father’s other wives spoke a language I could not understand, until much later did I learn it was a dialect of my hometown that I visited when I was already a teenager.
I was introduced to my mother. We stared most times at each other. I was always very polite. Said all the polite things. Thank you Ma. I am not hungry ma when she offered me food.
Then she told me a love story about how she met my father,when she eloped with him to the North,the uproar and then the marriage. How she became a Christian and how I came about. Wow. I remembered and used that as a story in Nuen Yeye. It explained a bit of me and my dreams.
It was meadow that had a sun streaming light into it and gave me a glimpse of the horizon. Milky dawns tinted with song of me as writer like the fingers of the dawn streaked through the meadow and I could open my eyes to a dawn that gleamed.
I look again into Yesterday, this meadow,left fingerprints on my soul. It was meadow that yawned its boredom with my ignorance and teased janus a couple of time.
I make preparation for October as Janus slipped back several steps and opened the door to so many yesterdays.
I will share, as I peepand smiles hope like the pairs of trousers I had once given my love, my heart and dreams.
The agonies of wife, mistress, friends and life


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