We Just Wanted to Belong

Poetry Jul 19, 2017

A glimpse of the childhood I really do miss…

Mama says, you are not one of them, you have to be better
They curse and swear…but we wanted to fit in… we needed to belong
Mama says you can play with them but don’t get too close for you are not one of them…
But we could change them, we said
You are still in your formative years, Mama said and sheep may eat faeces if they associate too closely with dogs
But we invite them to the house, all 15 of them, we sit and slot in the movie into Father’s vcd player
We watch, we laugh…but we keep watch…looking out for Mama’s return
So, we usher them all out through the back door because we caught a glimpse of her at the end of the street…oh! And we do a quick rearranging of the house…
But Mama always knows… then scolding and spanking…but we just wanted to belong
So, we follow them from school to learn to ride bicycles at that place close to our primary school
Hahahaha…Mother laughed when we told her of those days
We were business women, K&I, selling that cabin ‘panbolabola’ biscuit Mother always buy
No money, so Mother says take 4 each to school every day, But we take 6 or 8 depending on the demand
We sell, our classmate buys….demand was more than the supply. No voodoo involved, it must have been love… business was good…
So we buy ‘baba dudu’ or ‘fisibije’ from the proceed of sale
Mama never knew… she thought we enjoyed the biscuit so much…
They always buy fried fish and eat on our way home from school…so we bought for the first time
Just as we were lifting the fish to our mouth, we saw Mother standing there and watching quietly
So we threw it away and went home wondering why mother chose that day to visit the shoemaker
It was our first time, we cried to her…but mother would not hear of it
You are not one of them, she says as she spanks us
But Mama, we just wanted to belong….


Taiwo Ajuwon

I am a story teller with a wild mind for creating worlds and bringing ideas to life.

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