When you return

Published July 22, 2012 by Words

Sojourner to far-flung climes;

When you return,

Will you remember the evening songs

Chorused by chirping under the baobab tree?

Will you still remember the fame of the great hunter

Whose courage put the forest sprite to flight?

Earning him the most beautiful virgin in the land

When you return,

Will you remember the fable of the wraith

That forced our forefathers away from the farm at dusk?

Will you still dip your hands in “Aro” to make “Adire” for our dear mother?

Will you?

The market still a beehive of activities

Every market day is as rustic as you left it,

Our women the same, untainted by the new ways

Our men have not also faired any better,

Still suspicious of the innovations of the town people

Our children are not ashamed of showing off their beauty for the world to see,

The harrowing cries of our virgins still pierce the night,

As they fall under the mutilators knives

Will you still remember how to savor “Iyan

Pounded with the sweats of the maidens and

Molded with “Egusi” from earthenware?

When you return,

Will you not now be repulsed with “Ila”  

That soup which you handled with such mastery with “Amala

The leaves from the forest still keep us strong and virile:

The white-mans medicines have not offered any hope to our ailments

When you return,

Teach us not new things about our Land

O sojourner,

When you return from the white man’s Land

The Land of your slavery


Poem Written by Macaulay Oluseyi


–          Aro:-  A local dye

–         Adere:- A fabric made with “Aro” it is popular among Yoruba people of western Nigeria,

–         Iyan :- A paste for food made from Yam

–         Egusi :-A soup made from the melon seed

–         Ila :-A gelatinous soup made from Okra

–         Amala :-A paste for food made from Yam flower



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