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I chose to write,
about my father
Or perhaps his father
Or the father before
his father

Why am I going,
this farther
I’m already below,
in thoughts, so I need
me a ladder

He told me stories
Of how great we were
Men who ruled kingdoms
Shaped generations
But now, we lag behind

I quizzed him,
of who to blame
Who bears this shame
And he said;
Look no further

You are here
Because we failed
But you will be here
Because you failed
So start walking

I quizzed him,
about directions
He said; it’s hazy
So don’t walk alone
In numbers, you are strong

So know son!
Your road is long
But in numbers, you’re strong
Keep walking no matter what
And you shall reach somewhere

©️Hamza Hajj Ayub

I chose to write,
about my mama
Or perhaps her mama,
Or the mama before
her mama.

I need to speak
beyond a murmur,
so the silent praises
can be heard out
loud in all corners.

Mama told me stories;
Of how great women
served as viceroys
on captured lands,
Of how queen mothers
provided explicit counsel
in secret royal chambers.

I asked her about
treading a lone path,
She told me of
how they walked to
the stream in pairs,
to avert danger.
She told me of
how they asked strangers
for directions when
they were lost in the woods.

She told me,
Son!
It is a labyrinth
of a road.
You’ll need a guide,
You’ll meet strangers,
and you may have to build trust.
But never trust completely.
Just give people
the benefits of the doubt.

©Najib Mohammed

To tell you
A story of my mother.
Her mother’s mother
Before my mother
Was a mother for even those
Who have no mother.

Being a son amongst a tall list
of potential mothers
I was taught how to be a father
Not just rightly treat a mother

The mother is the home
And there is no home
without a mother

Society asks a lot of questions
Surely the answers lies in our mothers

How did we get here
Is it because some mothers
Failed to be mothers?

How did we get here?
Because fathers don’t
rightly treat mothers?
How the hell did we get here
because no mother is everyone’s mother?

Our ways are left unkept
Our dreams are now personal
Our wishes lack sanity

No one cares, not even mine
No one shares, not even mine
No one opens up, no even mine
A reason you’re here, even with mine

Let’s take a journey to reflect
With our minds.
There was a time
where everyone was mine.

She correct and check
on others not just mine.
Society, back then was covered to nines

So I was told, Son
My mother’s mother
Before me, your mother
Were mothers, for even those
Without mothers.

With fathers not treating them right
With mothers not thinking right
And kids holding them tight
Are we walking right?

No matter what
We keep moving
We keep walking
But surely, we are walking to Nowhere.

©️Yakub Alfa Suleiman

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