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Loss, sweet and bitter

When my grandmother died,

There were no wailings, no bitter tears.

We didn’t beat ourselves up against the earth like we were trying to tattoo a crack on the ground.

In my eyes she has always been old.

Her creased face like she was born an antique.She always had more past than future.

The news came accompanied with jokes.We traded memories of her like the one time she told my

bullish elder brother to sit on her frail legs.We laughed a little too loudly

like we were mocking death.

When I told my elder brother how it happened,

He couldn’t even pretend-to be shocked. It was like a punctual prophecy coming to fulfill its time.

My granny called my younger brother “million” instead of “Gideon”. Quizzed everyone she could.

Said this was my mother’s vengeance. She knew she couldn’t give my mother a lot but hoped her

grand child was wealth enough.

And they all laughed at her like we did death.

My grandma died in hands of my mother. She was being fed breakfast. My mother kept feeding her

pulseless body like she didn’t want her ghost to go hungry in the afterlife.

She was unaware until my dad told her her mother was out of breath. It’s true, this is evidence that

sometimes you may carry a dead thing and perceive no stenches, see no rottenness.

We celebrated her death like a transfiguration. When she was lowered beneath the earth we

chanted good memories, bade her farewell with victory songs —for my grandma loved to dance

even when her stiff bones spoke otherwise.

When my ex left,

I realized loss is a fucking paradox.

I was left light but grew a heavy heart—she didn’t die, I was ghosted.

There were no final words, no goodbyes, no reasons why.

I mourned her in silence, my heart wrapped in black.

My chest was the tombstone that buried our memories in the sands of time.

Two years later, when she reincarnated,

I ran for my dear life.

For my ancestors always told tales

of how you don’t live after seeing a ghost.

Abu Ibrahim Ojotule popularly known as IB is a socially conscious poet whose work has
caused tremendous influence and change both locally and internationally.
His debut spoken word album “Music Has Failed Us”  got a Grammy acceptance, and was in
line for a possible nomination by the Recording Academy for the 2022 awards..  This body of
work is available on all major music streaming platforms. 
He sees poetry as a powerful tool to cause positive change and redefine society.
In 2021,  using poetry as a tool for political activism, students from the University of
Ljubljana in Slovenia studied his work  titled “We Know What Terrorism Is”

When he is not writing or performing poetry, he  works with brands and individuals across
different sector as photographer and brand strategist/storyteller.

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