The Poem Abiku by wole Soyinka

Abiku by Wole Soyinka

The poem Abiku by Wole Soyinka

In vain your bangles cast Charmed circles at my feet;  I am Abiku, calling for the first And the repeated time.  

Must I weep for goats and cowries For palm oil and the sprinkled ash?  Yams do not sprout in amulets To earth Abiku’s limbs.  

So when the snail is burnt in his shell Whet the heated fragments, brand me Deeply on the breast. You must know him When Abiku calls again.  

I am the squirrel teeth, cracked The riddle of the palm. Remember This, and dig me deeper still into The god’s swollen foot.  

Once and the repeated time, ageless Though I puke. And when you pour Libations, each finger points me near The way I came, where  

The ground is wet with mourning White dew suckles flesh-birds Evening befriends the spider, trapping Flies in wind-froth;   

Night, and Abiku sucks the oil From lamps. Mother! I’ll be the Supplicant snake coiled on the doorstep Yours the killing cry.  

The ripes fruit was saddest;  Where I crept, the warmth was cloying. In the silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping Mounds from the yolk.

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