Agbalinmuo by Madu Chisom Kingdavid


Older than Adam…

Now the tree has grown out of greenness,
Leaning on the shadows of passage…

The spine has met the earth in state;
The limbs pregnant with no breasts,
For the sap has aged-in to clouds…

Thunder has operated skin-deep
to divulge its skeleton;

ants in scattering procession…


Beneath the green armpits,
In the breath of the spirits in ascent
Moonlight tales were told to the teething saplings.

In circle the teething saplings sang in silence:

“Oh, my Agbalinmuo,
Ripen, ripen, ripen,
For my sake, the motherless,
For my sake, the fatherless.
Orphan that I am
I’ve supped full of anguish…”


The ripe-yellow breasts sold,
Paid my dues in Cambridge.


Wild weeds have married the feet upward
To the temple against the passersby.
Mushrooms sprouting from the soul…

Now the teeth of axes bite Agbalimuo to pieces
To be consumed by fire against the pots…


Decades away. I know the
Seeds have sprung thousand Mother Trees.
For trees with ancestral roots never die.

Like the tree, we’ll too grow out of greenness,
And open earth will cover us in peace
And pieces to be consumed by merciless moths…




Madu Chisom Kingdavid is a final year Student of History and International Studies at Imo State University, Owerri. His works have been published in online magazines, anthologies and national dailies

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