Strife and duty are two words for her
how it surges on in dignity
burnt from the endless heat of sulphur mines
this skin stretches dark sheet from industry

Make the pose an Elephant,
her turmoil, her triumph from invaders
she is burnt from the endless sunlight,
her body is slavery and the lines tell a grand history of work

My father works in a construction camp,
each day he works as an elephant and gets poached in the eye
he works too high and earns too little

if there is dignity being industrious

There, the trademark of suffering on my father’s glove
dark and untidy and he surges on

Life is ailing he says in this burnt glove
but matches on, he has the endless will of an elephant.

look closely, it is my father’s hand
and not an elephant that is poached today
look closely, his burnt skin from travail in sunlight
he is ailing but matches on to fight this shutdown
look closely, this time my father
he lays in two nail fashion
one is duty for work and the other is strife
over his paycheck

  • Judekelvin Igbonekwu hails from the Eastern part of Nigeria, Enugu State, and currently resides in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. As an emerging writer, Judekelvin hopes to help change the landscape of African literature. His works have been submitted in Rattle Magazine, BlogNostics and also for the Brunel Africa poetry prize. He is currently working on a first novel titled” My Uncle’s Wife”

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