Memory is the story you were told about a city
which fell off an atlas into the hands of assailants,
who slashed the tongues of your elders,
and smothered the night with bullets and blood.
You were told that the sea was freedom
when your fathers and sons drowned with chains
into the blueness of a coulee
so that when the flames come screaming at your city,
with you behind bars
and your daughter severely injured between the laps,
you will remember the name of your mother
and the river she was lost in.
Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony is an Igbo-born poet whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Headline poetry and press, African writer, Kalahari review, Art lounge, Nantygreens, Konya shasrumi, Eboquills, Praxis magazine, Afritondo, Eunoia review & elsewhere. He lives in Orlu, a sleepy city in the Southeastern part of Nigeria.