Friday, 1 January 2016

The First Time

The first time I wrote a poem, it was for a boy. Typical you say? We were in JSS 3 going on SS 1. He was the poet; his pen always causing words to dribble atop paper in fine ink, impeccable English too. I was to reciprocate in the same vein and I did. Few words and the rhymes were such a hit :-)

The first time I wrote competitively, it was for my hostel. Too shy however I penned it under another name, not even an alias I mean that was how little I believed in my writing. My girls and I did a recital exactly as I had earlier coached - we won 2nd place and I wished I had confidently put my name.

The first time I cried over a loss, it was for our dog. S-ki-ppy was such a real dear I never ever feared his size and mean barks. We couldn't take long walks but would stand by the house gate for short whiles cos I feared he would cut loose and bite another kid like he once did my little sis. On return from Uni one day I was shown his tiny grave covered with sand. He had died and no one had the courage to tell me. Yes I cried and haven't loved another since.

The first time I saw shrimps 'face-face', Christie showed me. Of course you know this favored sea food cost a bit but Christie would stock them and make everything with...from fried rice to indomie to stew to "okra lasanlasan" (ordinary okra).

The first time I ate watermelon, my papa gave me. Crap that stuff tasted so odd I wrinkled my face in distaste. My papa wondered when I would develop the palate for finer, healthier food and fruits other than my regular eba "garri" in the morning, afternoon and night!

The first time I saw my period, only mama knew. A day later she saw drops of blood on the ground where I stood in front of her shop with a throng of customers beside me. Embarrassed and ashamed on my behalf, she shooed the customers away and called me inside but it wasn't my blood you see...well it was mine only that this came from a cut in my hand not nature's monthly free flow from...

The first time  I drove on the express, it was Christie's Yaris. Damn! My lungs were in my mouth but she wouldn't have me chicken out and yes I so brushed a man's vehicle, it was a forerunner. We flashed our 32 and he let us be but the next second I parked and let her lead.

The first time a boy hit me, it was my best friend Walata. It was during prep and we had no hostel master present. He slapped me hard; a very thunderous slap and he threatened to hit again! Fourteen years later he asks me to marry him and every time I scuff and close the Facebook/Whatsapp chat window.

The first time I got a visit in the hostel after a loooooong dry while, it was my mama. She saw me from afar talking to a boy in the corner. The very same boy she had seen once or twice around me in Lagos live and direct in Ikenne, Ogun State. The coconut rice with "ata sweswe" (fried stew), bournvita, powdered milk and all else she had brought took a journey back with her...halfway through the hostel gate till my matron's plea thawed her heart to drop them for me.

The first time I went to Sokoto State, it was to NYSC camp in Farfaru. I lived like a queen drinking bottled water and eating food ONLY from maami market. The weather was unkind to me but the serving doctors were kinder. I learned to laugh and dance and play like the mallamas without a care in the world.

The first time I fell genuinely in love, it was with myself. Only recently have I come to extremely adore myself and enjoy my own company. I treat me good. I take me out. I teach myself. I laugh with myself. I respect me, honor me and my confidence in me grows daily.

That's a list of a few of my firsts...what 'first' stands out for you?

Happy New Year beautiful people. May 2016 be lovelier, grander and merrier than the last. Today is a first of many...take charge, make it count.