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Two Poems by Sue Nyamnjoh

have you eaten?

I come from a long lineage
of proud and brave heroes.

Stories of their greatness
were passed from father to child
with the cycle repeated
when the child became man.

His was the mantle of keeping the stories
alive in memory.

All this is untrue.

Well, not exactly.
It could very well be,
but I would not know.

You see ours was not a love
which had me seated below
little arms wrapped around their calves
and head perched on their laps
waiting to be regaled with oral histories spanning generations.

Ours was a
‘Have you eaten?’ kind of love.
The kind which left my fees paid, stomach full and my body clothed.

Ours was a love that
made sure there was a roof above my head
and it did not leak.

Ours was a love of needs met
where ‘I Love Yous’ went unsaid.
One that pushed me into the cold embrace of excellence
and kept tabs on my progress from afar.

bone apple tea

I want an appetite for life
so voracious
it puts the gluttony of capitalism
to shame.