Nigerian Student Poetry "My father no longer goes to work" by Uche Ezenwa-Ohaeto

My father no longer goes to work..Mother calls him names, for he has not provided food for us in a while..

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A man lying on a bed play

A man lying on a bed

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My father no longer goes to work

He stays in the house

Like a television waiting for whomever to see it,

He holds his papers: newspapers, football-papers,


He only sees the world and the country in their lines

And curses the government and the world in his



He shouts at every dog and ant

My mother no longer picks the hairs on his chest,

It’s so rusty and hard, rigid and stiff like unused steel

He waits for his food; he waits for his evening friends.


Mother calls him names

For he has not provided food for us in a while,

"Go call the damn woman mummy and put

Food for us on the table," mother cries to him.

She is tired of providing alone.


My father no longer goes to work

Even though his evening-friends go to work

He has decided to marry the house and its loneliness

He sleeps, shouts, let his papers off his hands

Which he picks at his every sleep break,


Every day, he goes through all his papers

He stares at each for a long time

Cursing the government with his mouth,

Packages them with a sigh and throws them aside

For a tomorrow’s stare; he pays no rent or tax or


He dives for cover on every knock on the door.


My father no longer goes to work

He stays in the house, cursing the world with his mouth

I heard him say that the woman

Who employed him has ordered him

To call her “Mummy” and not “Madam” anymore,

He has been told to quit

Till he learns to call her “Mummy”,


I don’t know if it’s pride but

He leaves his work because he cannot

Call someone he has more years than, “Mummy”

(And grandmother is still alive in the village)

For this, my father refuses to go to work.


Uche Ezenwa-Ohaeto is a 100-level student of the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

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