JLF Maikaho is a Nigerian writer and poet who’s interested in climate change, photography, gender equality, mythology, history and science. She loves God, dogs, rain and the mysterious. Her works explore diverse themes and have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Pacific, Trouvaille Review, Nnoko Stories, Kalahari Review, Eboquills, Literary Yard, Arts Lounge(IssueII) and elsewhere. She tweets @JlfMaikaho.
Loss has called your name again The drums of despair are beating Earth is hungry for your dance of sorrow Today it's not your lover quitting on you Or your father dying on a lonely bed Or your dog massacred on the streets Today, you bear the burden Of a different kind of pain One that drains you of energy Forcing you to question your sanity You convinced yourself That freedom was worth it When you moved your hands And strangled your babies One second, one click, one button And your children were gone In a haze of literary prolicide You thought this was the way out That murder could free you From the burden of nurturing You didn't understand The extent of your loss Until you parted your lips And your voice became a bird Wild- defying your orders Ambitious- running everywhere but to you Oblivious- nowhere to be found The lines too were fading in your head Your fingers losing their power of creation You wanted to go back But the path could only be taken once A life's work, gone in the twinkle of an eye Where do you begin a story Whose plot has twisted and rebelled To overthrow you as narrator How, how do you regain your voice Retell the story of how you got here How do you find your way back The drums of grief are calling Tum tum tumum tum tum Earth is waiting for your feet To dance to the tune of sorrow Creators don't give up you say Barrenness is alien to gods The feet that walked in majesty Cannot bend to the cruel hands of despair You look within once again Pick up the lyrics of grief and stretch them You start there, rearranging the notes Molding beauty from ennui Making new babies out of the ashes Of their murdered ancestors Rediscovering your voice through the noise And once again reclaiming your throne