You Forgot What You Called Me

We met
From three different poles
We spoke with signs and with gestures because we heard not one another yet we heard us, we understood us

And we began buying sugar and meat with salt and crayfish
And tie and die Ankara and Aso-oke for oil and perfumes and began interlabours
After which often we would dine and wine and play and laugh

You had your dryness-caused broken heels and I had my backsides flathead and he had his tribalmarks stretched from the both sides of his mouth to both sides of his ears like one that just escaped a fight with a lion
Yet seeing all these made no difference as each of us had one common feature
Our accents told of how far north, east or west we had come
And after all
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

You hated women but married many because rulership was in your blood, someone must be lead
I loved them women but married only one because business was in my blood
And I must limit expenses and increase income and she must understand
And he loved plenty women and married them many for women love to be entertained and art was in his blood
Yet one purpose brought us together
One caused by insatiable wants after which
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

You called me Nyamiri
And I called him Ofemmanu and we called you Aboki
Names that endeared us to each other
And the sarcasm of it all kept us laughing for as long as the friendship and brotherliness lasted
And we stayed without ever knowing that our self-made bows and arrows and matches and daggers and spears and shields
Could be used for something else but our mutual night hunts of games and foreign enemies
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

And interests in our friends' daughters came in
My Ofemmanu friend let my sons have his daughters
And I let theirs have mine too
But yours? I wonder what till date makes you block your heart against us having yours
And your schemes began to show in ways we didn't understand
But because Ofemmanu and I cherish oneness
With you still
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

And later, we saw those eyes of yours that had turned red
That once was not known for the scales love and the spirit of oneness put in our eyes
Yes, even from the darkness of those shades
We could see the fierceness of the burning red-hot fire
You became obsessed with not being satisfied with ruling your wives alone
And the religion you were brought you embraced with both hands
And it afforded you the skill of throat slitting
And the games we hunted were no longer enough for your ever glittering swords
It is now us
And in time just because we thought someday you would realise your mistakes
And we would return to the we we used to be
We adopted the long wooden spoon approach to continue with you
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

But the laughter lost its savour
And the meals and wines lost their tastes
Your Nyamiri became agitated
And Ofemmanu decides and won't mind to stab him in the back
Because he couldn't stand on the fence
And wouldn't stay with one who decides to sheath his more amorous weaponry
And time came, we couldn't do peacefully what we used to
Because you couldn't look up to meet your eyes with mine as
We would dine and wine and play and laugh

And this eleventh hour you have forgotten my name but I haven't forgotten yours
I still remember my other friend's Ofemmanu
And yours my Aboki
But because you try coming with schemes day and night
One that would help you slit my throat in the daylight
Even when you should have realized that in billion years to come no mechanism of yours can give you the conquest
You plan yet
And somewhere in the midst of your busy mind and dight
I ask to know what is really your intention
What do you hope to achieve with this notion
That has caused us our love and once cherished unity
It's result is beginning to show on you and more would come
You have forgotten what you called me

by Eziudo Michael Nwachukwu

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