Poem: Bodies On The Roadside

I saw bodies on the roadside.


When did you learn to hate your story?

Was it when your mother had your song

and admonished you not to sing it loud,

or when your father said you are a foreign music?


Was it when the exorcist

hushed you with his railing bell

and tried to wash away your

rainbow at the riverbank?


Who chased you away

from your body?

And while running

you dashed your feet against

a rock and now you will take

those drugs all your life.


Who said you are a sad story

that must not be told

because boys are to love

girls as a woman must

end her journey in a man’s

house even if he’s not her lover?

Because her own home is not good enough.


Who taught you that your

storm is a chastisement for

the colours that crept into

your skin when you

sojourned in your mother’s belly?


Why do you look happiness

in the eye yet you weep?


Run into your body and

live in peace,

die in peace if you must die.

Tell your mother you are

war that must be fought,

tell her you are a conquest

of that war and your scars

are monuments for posterity.


Tell your father there are no foreign songs,

songs are just what they are. Songs.

Bodies are songs.

Like water, salt water is water,

and fresh water too, fishes lives in both.


You are a story.

Hold your story in your palm,

but don’t squeeze it,

stories are to be told not squeezed.

If your kinsmen speak oft

of you sit at ease on their

tongue, they won’t swallow you,

the tongue is a bed,

and beds are comfort zones.


Don’t swallow your father’s story,

Swallow your front tooth instead.

And the drugs. Take it and live.

-Felix Kalu.


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Wordpress (2)
  • comment-avatar
    Iyequs 5 years

    Lovely poem, thank you again and again Matt.

  • comment-avatar
    Seun 5 years

    This is epic!

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