A Good Mourning

by Ogaga Ifowodo

KSh 1,075

They would have her mind pots and pans,
or, not cooking, chained to a bedpost
with her braided chador and her hair.

They measured in square inches the distance
between her heart and the world
and would have her sing to empty cots and cans.

They had decreed her body-without-mind,
but feared she would not leave her fate to men
maddened by a woman’s bared mind or hair.

They had chained her husband to a rock,
and chained her to a bedpost, they’d cook
two hearts in their boiling pots and pans.

They knew she’d break bounds, take her cry
to the street, and the echo of her song
would charm stones but burn their aching ears.

They sent soldiers to shoot her dead at noon
to still her voice and break her husband,
she’d slipped the chains of braided chador and her hair
she’d not be content merely minding pots and pans.

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Description

Author: Ogaga Ifowodo
ISBN: 9789789562954
Country: Nigeria
Publisher: Parresia Publishers (Origami Books)
Size (inches): 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.9
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Weight 83 grams
Language: English
Publication  Date: 2016

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Ogaga Ifowodo

Ogaga Ifowodo is a lawyer, poet, columnist and rights activist. He has published four books of poetry: Homeland and Other Poems, Madiba, The Oil Lamp and A Good Mourning. His debut in fiction, “The Treasonable Parrot” from a short fiction work-in-progress, appeared in AGNI. Memoirs of his preventive detention under Nigeria’s erstwhile military dictatorship, excerpts from which have been featured in Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (Heinemann), New Writing 14 (Granta) and African Writing, is also in progress. He is author of the scholarly study History, Trauma, and Healing in Postcolonial Narratives (Palgrave Macmillan). He holds an MFA and a Ph.D from Cornell and until 2014 taught writing at Texas State University. In proof of Shelley’s claim that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, Ifowodo failed to get the ticket of the All Progressives Congress for the House of Representatives during the 2015 general election!