Father said anytime I lift my hands to pray,
I shouldn’t forget to atone for the sins of
the shadow
that makes our house a nightmare before the dawn of each day.

We call it shadow because of the fear of the elusive world,
and the metamorphosis of mysteries yet unraveled,
like the reason why mother was buried beside an iroko tree,
and why I see myself in front of that iroko tree in my slumber.

Out of the seven sons of my father,
I’m the only one in this dilemma of time past,
and like our parish priest, I’ve always atoned for the sins I didn’t commit,
before I commit my night to the mares of this terrestrial spirit.

Unlike my six brothers from another mother, Father had always shared the scars of my wounds with me,
every penny he spent on me made him penniless,
till hope made him a chameleon,
forever making us a parallel line.
not when our ends didn’t meet.

I, Imole, the first fruit of Ajitonáwo, tried to live up to my name, till my name outlived me,
and till that moment
when I lifted my hands to say my last prayer like father said, with my legs struggling to keep my last breath,
I was indeed the shadow father talked about.

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