The cemented floor had whitened our mother’s

chocolate knees

Almost as white as the ceiling –

The silent, blank middleman between God and mother

God bless my husband and my children too

Our mother’s prayer was a sacrifice salted with love for

her family

But it seemed our mother’s prayer was another Cain-ish


Or God was too far away in His cloudy cosmos

And our mother’s prayer was like the Tower of Babel –

It would never reach God’s gold-tiled compound

So God didn’t know when the dark tongue of the road

Licked life out of our job-hunting father

Or probably God knew about everything

Probably He knew too that our frequent fasting was a

product of poverty

And not piousness

So he had decided to punish us

To punish us hard like sinners in hell

Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji is a final-year student of English at the University of Lagos, Lagos State.