When My Mother Think Memories

October 21, 2022

I ferry the sand of my thoughts towards the past, 

to build a home from memories, I stumble into 

the middle of a stream. Some memories are like a 

crushed bitter leaf reinstating its bitterness to the 

mouth in the aftermath of swallowing. My mother

falls back into grieving each time the pain draws her 

into the Nile pouring from her eyes. I want to talk memories, 

but they are too big, too large to pass through the 

mouth. I open my eyes from the darkness of thoughts, 

& wonder if the moon still shines. The night will 

fall again, & I’ll stretch my hands to begging the sky 

to be starry, bright, bright stars.

Mother still worries, nightly, like a wingless bird sitting 

on a tree branch. Who will teach me how to eat from 

goodness? The answer to prayers— a kind of light we want 

God to effulge into the darkness in our lives. When my 

mother thinks memories, she breaks into fragments of glass 

reflecting the sultriness of the sun’s memories. When my 

mother thinks memories, she conjures a River-Niger from 

her face. When my mother think memories, she becomes 

a brook dumping itself into the river of memories. The day 

mother accepted love, she didn’t know that melancholy is a 

guillotine chopping off the future, now turned memories. 

The memories of me & my father are too dark, I trap 

fireflies to see a glimpse of it —the boy was too small when 

his father’s candle melted. The blurs from these memories 

are the pains that keep singing me a ballad poem.


Abdulkareem AbdulkareemAbdulkareem Abdulkareem, Frontier III, is a Nigerian writer. His works appear/forthcoming on POETRY Magazine, Asterlit, Poetry Column-NND, Brittle Paper, Rulerless Magazine, Lumiere Review, Claw and Blossom, FERAL, Rigorous, Kissing Dynamite, & elsewhere. He won the University of Ilorin SU Writers Competition (Poetry Category) 2022. He reads poetry for Agbowó Magazine.


Featured Image by Bethany Beck on Unsplash