I speak to my grandfather with my ears tied

His fingers are loose, Italian-like, a successional rhythm and vim enlaced within

Whereas mine, stiff in solidarity, silently swinging behind me

The sky is purple-red. It’s late. A cold, callous wind embraces the world with a wicked laugh.

My grandfather looks at me with eyes piqued

To the corners of my scalp, from my ears to the crevices of my nose

Watches the weak Yoruba dance haphazardly off my tongue

Like a battered drum being beaten with sticks made from metal, he says

I watch him with the purest green envy

The eloquent, effortless ease of familiar words rolling down the tip

Of his withering tongue, still fresh as ever with stories for days

As he recounts his time, in my time, where the sky

In this same hour, would only embrace the earth with its warmth

A warmth laced with a loud juvenile, soft laughter

One so gentle it made the sun on your skin feel as good as drinking wine on a Monday

He wanted me to say more, but my language was not of his own

It was not one that made the earth dance to its own accord

Nor moved people with that effervescent, daring spirit

He seemed curious to find meaning in my speech, yet only with his ears tied.

j’écris. nigerian, and other associations.

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