You don’t know what it means to live unknown,
to smile in the market square as a stranger
haughtily spills your mother’s name on a pig’s head
and you become a boil on Miss World’s lips.
This is how a mangrove lives without prop roots:
a branch is starved until its pregnant leaves become
ghosts of IDPs walking backwards to Oloibiri Well 1.
def.: Oloibiri is the longing of a surrogate mum
e.g.: She died birthing crude oil for the outsiders.
You don’t know how it feels when a foe
owns your child and you bow calling him, Lord,
while your neighbours cut your neck with snail shells;
you can’t protest because your life’s a nursery rhyme
of CH4 NOx VOCs SO2 CO2 PAHs PCBs HFCs
and the other poisons that eat me away daily.