My uncle never told me about my mother.I was not fortunate to see her face, not in a picture or carved image ,I only heard her name in stories, sad stories about her death while giving birth.My elder sister tells me healthy stories about mother, she says, “I used to plait her long, soft hair, on her round head, algodun [downwards], sleep on her thighs, hug and kiss her forehead until she begged me to stop with a bowl of rice”
My sister also says, “mother was sweet to see like the morning hours, beautiful as love, peaceful, slow to anger and quick to smile .A woman whose eyes ran down with soft tears when her husband’s face was sad as night as she saw his neck veins tensing upright, anger growing muscles.My grandma tells me broken stories about my dad who was a proud fisherman, huge and broad as the sky’s body .A strict man who slept when the night was getting stronger ,when the moon and stars were tired of staring at people and older male birds were nodding at the doorsteps of their nests.
My grandma says dad was stubborn as a village cock.He used to tell his customers, “Even if the waves don’t want me to catch fish today, I will sleep in my boat but I must take home a few baskets of fish.Today is not a sour day, there are not many vultures in the sky”
In my village vultures in the sky is a sign of bad luck ,for fishermen, long journey travellers and warriors, sometimes it could mean war, or the exit of a clan chief’s life,.Grandma said dad didn’t listen when he was warned not to go fishing on Fridays, because this day is unfriendly. Friday was made for Muslims to praise Allah,It’s a day when wicked devils were born and every day between twelve noon and two o’clock .These devils take a stroll through the tide. Dad didn’t listen; he didn’t listen and was swallowed by the sea. His fishing net ran down with him into the belly of the water. The sea was speechless to raise the alarm so his boat saved itself instead of him, his customers’ blays were left waiting in the scorching sun and the waves never spat his bones upon the shore.I believe the heavens will help me see my parents .I will hug them until I melt down into their precious souls for, my heart has been empty as an unfurnished house.My voice has travelled miles while I have cried in search of them, they only came to visit me in dreams. I am trying to be fine with my lucky daughter who has no grandparents from my side.