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Your Heart Trembles – Bisi Abiola

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Your Heart Trembles



Your heart trembles, Billiri

It quivers for fear of the unknown:

What wind will blow before twilight?


I feel the throbbing terror

I see the riddle refusing to break:

What breeze will announce the next dawn?


I see a blur, blunt crescent

Against a still, dull night-sky:

What sound will open the new day-cloud?



And I remember Sofia;


Her dusty heels abound with stories

Her silence that speaks volume


The blaring blobs lining her plait

Driving down steaming scenes made

By these vampires in our desert


She knows Shekau by body odour…



Cheerful gardener of the desert’s flowers


Those blasting sirens of hearses

Throw the noble Aloma outside her memory


Regular haggler in Monday Market,


Famous footprint in Baban Lai

Through Mairi Kuwa, Lagos Street

To Shehu Palace and Baga Road,


That smoke from shrapnel-hewn torsos

Tortures her sight of sand-dune funs

And travels on the comfort of humps





The diluted thickness…

The mutilated ties…


Those familiar guts hosting a thousand vultures

Turn her tongue against tuwo chinkafa


Yet stubbornly, she chooses life…



Your heart trembles;

I remember Sofia


And see hope


I see lullaby ousting dirge

Serenade, with eulogy,

hurling elegy


I see the moon; full and fair


I see man overcome

these turbulent times

Bisi Abiola is the penname of Ibrahim Odugbemi, a University Scholar at the University of Ibadan where he graduated with a First Class B.A degree in English and recently completed his M.A. degree in Literature. He teaches general studies courses in Use of English and Effective Writing and Communication Skills in the same University.


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