Tade Ipadeola

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(From “Sahara Testaments”)


The fishwife in her wooden market stall

Tucks in a franc into her black brassiere,

Smiles as she hands over the fish. She is tall

Her teeth glisten whiter than the sassier

Neighbour’s, whiter than any woman’s, so white

I wondered if God knew she’d make it

Into a magnet for custom and light.

I did not ask her name, I wouldn’t pit

My halting French against her effortless river

Of Bambara and market French. I forget

What the fish tasted like, not the fever

Of curiosity, flaring as it did from a nugget

Of ivory that blinded my wandering eyes.

That woman was Senegal. Senghor’s woman

Immortal in her blackness, market wise

Bringing back tides of the musings of a man

On a land made for poetry, the perfect

Turn of every phrase. In all of these

The desert was ever present, its idiolect

Suffusing the streets with a certain ease

Found in the Sahel, elegant, understated

Borderland dexterity, animist bon vivant

Measured out in bright speech that elated

With the germinal wisdom of the sun.


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4 Comments so far ↓
  • yinka Elujoba says:

    Wow. This is fluid. Your choice of words are legendary. Great write!

  • akerebulu segun pius says:

    From the day I met you, it has alway being education for me, you always amaze me with you writing. I will always ask for more…

  • Tosin Gbogi says:

    Great sounds and music …

  • Nathaniel Soonest says:

    After the festival in Eko,
    The conjugal meet,
    And Meat,
    The Naija-Italiano
    I wanted more,
    More from the literary-pot,
    From the seasoned broth.
    Now I’ve got it,
    Minced meat,
    So I chew on bit-by-bit.
    I love also
    the way these hides of words u knit,
    The bait I joyfully swallow
    Drowning beneath
    Ur sea of metaphors,
    Urs are stream of balms for the cure of all sores.

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