The grass on the other side is infinitely greener,

So the walls screamed at the airport,

As we gathered to wave goodbye to another,

Family packed part and parcel,

On his one way trip to yonder.


‘Join the train’ they said,

Move over and find a new life,

This place of your fathers is on a down trend,

Nothing good will come with time,

Nothing but an unhappy end.


Eventually I listened,

My family’s heritage and history,

A lifetime of gathered memories,

Sold all I was worth for strange money,

That came to little more than nothing.


In pursuit of the Golden Fleece,

I left the land of my birth behind with glee,

I didn’t know what I didn’t know then,

That the many ancestors,

Whose job it was to prosper me,

They never ventured across the sea.


“I came on their recommendation,

Family, friends and colleagues,

Everyone I knew chorused unanimous,

There was no single voice of dissent,

That the grass here had a greener hue.”


“Eh yah,” chorused faces around the table,

Faces whose paleness reminded me,

Of my father’s bowl of hot akamu and milk,

Or maybe it was the infernal cold in my brain,

That spoke those familiar words.


“I miss everything,

Sweaty black faces and flat noses,

Peppery food in aggressive doses,

Palm wine in calabashes foaming,

And the sound of my name pronounced properly.”


“They didn’t lie,”

Said the leader of the ghostly pack,

“They only forgot to mention as an aside,

That the chlorophyll here,

Is paid for with your soul,

Because you left behind the gift of God’s Sun,

Wastefully shining away at home…”


Ire n be n’ile.


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