A Girl’s Life Will Shake You

A Girl’s Life Will Shake You

A Girl’s Life Will Shake You 1600 1200 Adesina Ayobami Idris

never seen her tuck a shirt in a skirt
/ a pencil, a book & a bag
tied to her back for school

never seen her count stones
/ add bottle lids together
for an arithmetic exercise

instead, i have seen her with
a basket / a tray / a big bowl
stocked with goods

her voice pressed into walls
— of her trade:
— of the sweetness in her oranges
— of mangoes as fresh as infant eyes
— of pineapples that echo orisons in the mouth of its eater

she’d walk in the face of morn
through noon & find her way back home
when the tray on her head is empty
as a pauper’s purse

maybe her mother / her guardian
feed her with crumbs
& lynch her & stamp her face to dust
when she dashes a naira to the wind

& as she walks past houses & greens
the temple between her legs
is open to strangers
who’d forcibly wash their filth in her


Header photograph by Charlotte Hamrick


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