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Run | Michael Imossan

Run | Michael Imossan

Run | Michael Imossan | Agbowo Art | Transition Issue | July 2023


After the last boat, carrying with it

the birth of dusk, had rowed in, we

ran towards it. Every hand outstretched 

was an act of welcoming, of pulling the

boat to shore. we know the boatman’s feet,

having stayed long at sea, will always thirst

for the warmth of sands. The fisherman gave to us

what he had to give to us: a body whitened

by water. In the sea’s argument, there is 

something inside a Nigerian body  always begging 

for rest. A woman I do not quite know poured

her body into him. The moon dancing on the

water’s surface looked like a grave yawning. 

From Uya Oro, the gospel of hope was drummed into

our ears; youths folded their rage into thumbprints,

into an act capable of magic; of the miracle of good

leadership. I, who knew the square root

of hope to be despair. I, who knew the pain of

praying inside fire turned to the fisherman and asked,

Do you believe in politics?  he said, I believe in my net and

what the sea has to offer: the gift of fishes or bodies made tender

by years of resting. Hear me brothers, the elections have 

come and gone and the news is here again with its dead 

bodies. On a boat headed for Idenao, a boy asks me, 

What will you tell the coming generation? What will you tell them 

to do when country forces them to perform silence like the dead? 

I looked at the water, the sun rippling over its surface.

I imagined the blue tilapias dancing in the sweet flow of

currents, a bull shark opening its mouth against a brown ray. 

Then turned back to the boy, to the tender music of hope 

beating in his eyes and said  to him                         run. 

Michael Imosan | Agbowo | African Literary Art

Michael Imossan

Michael Imossan is the author of the award-winning poetry chapbook, For The Love of Country and Memory.

Photo by Marc Herve on Unsplash

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