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White Butterfly

I know this, because...

I hand father a rag for his shoes

Which he receives without a word

But a face with knitted brow

He cleans the dirt from lace to sole-

And does not perceive my presence

Or perhaps he does,

As he appears to me heavily weighed inside.

Soon, he waves his hand in bid for my leave.

A weary wind whirls

Ikenna's cry is loud

So much it rankles papa

Rather than rouse tenderness -

I know this, because:

He sighs furiously at each interval

And then buries his face with both palms.

Mama with every rapt precision

Cracks open Aki-

Given to us by Aunty Blessing

Ikenna is to eat with garri-

I know this, because:

Earlier, mother had warned Ada and I to steer clear of it

"You both are grown-ups now, let little baby eat"

I do not mind nor Ada

As long as it keeps the little brat quiet.

Ada performs a play with her doll- she calls her Sonia.

This sight amuses me, because

Sonia is bald

And without limbs.

She is dressed also like us: dirty and tattered.

With back bent morosely low,

Papa makes for his room-

He does so without a word

But the bang of the bolt and lock.

Hereafter, we hear a sharp cry- it's father's

Impactful howerever,

As mama, Ada and I

Look at each other in togetherness

He calls my name agonizingly in a low shrill

Soon I am forced to the sight of my father on the floor;

Floating on the stream of his blood;

With face upturned; mama's knife stuck firmly to his chest.

His eyes become empty and without life

And mama, as if awaken to a new consciousness

Responds with a scream that fills the neighborhood. 

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