Genre: Family, Life, People
PAPA’S NEW WIFE by Nnamdi Wabara
I had gone back towards the Living Room.
For my School Text, which I had left on the side table.
My Math assignment to be redone, errors rife.
But Papa had a visitor, who whispered with him, like thieves about a heirloom.
Then out of the hushed tones, the inaudible rabble;
Papa said ” Tomorrow, she’ll be here; My New Wife”.
My young legs became filled with copious lead.
I froze to the spot. Enraged, yet rooted.
My heart thundered against my ribs, as if to break free.
And worse. The door opened. It was Revd. Gilead.
Parish Pastor and regular partaker of Mama’s delicious stewed Goat head.
I dodged as he made to pat my head, lest he stain me with his filthy mire.
That Evening at dinner, I couldn’t swallow even a morsel.
I just sat at the table staring at my plate, while my mind rioted.
Watching him even feed Mama pieces of fish from his soup. The Traitor!
My two little sisters chatted merrily and helped finish my cup of Sorrel.
My parents soon stood and hand in hand, whilst giggling, announced they had retired.
I soon left as well, not having the heart while my sisters washed up, to monitor.
Sleep that night was turbulent. I tossed and turned.
What could turn a godly man, an avowed Christian, polygamous?
When just the other day, he had railed against infidelity in the Church.
He wouldn’t even shake the Landlord’s hand after the Caretaker’s young daughter became his newly wed.
Gone were his public vows of ensuring his children became famous.
How possible, when the new wife will fight us over even the battered couch.
Then I wondered if at all we will be in Papa’s will.
Mama’s three daughters’ stood no chance against a new son in the African Custom.
Oh the injustice of it all, as I fell into a fitful sleep.
And I dreamt we were Romans and were gathered to feast on some bounty kill.
Though dressed in Togas’, I could still make out people in the place, including my Grand-Mom.
The Revd. Gilead was called Brutus, and I wished he would remain there as Caesar’s keep.
The Morning only brought me high fevers.
All sweaty, with splitting headaches. Mama sent word to School through my sisters.
I feigned sleep as Papa felt my forehead and prayed for my recovery. Evil Man!
At noon, I heard Mama’s excited shout; “Nne, come and see your Father’s New Wife”. Gone were the feverish shivers.
I charged out. An ill and weak Nine Year Old. Machete in hand. To ensure justice and preserve the honour of Mama and my sisters.
There she was. A White Volkswagen Beetle. Glistening in the Sun. Papa had bought a new Car. My Sweet Old Man.
Nnamdi Wabara, 2016.( newerthots.blogspot.com )
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