An earthen pound was stuck in my throat and each time it pulled an intestine in my stomach as i paced in mother’s hut. We lived alone in the forest. We didn’t start out like lepers, we came from a wealthy family up at Ayedaade village. My father was a rich farmer – the richest in the land.At morn’ our compound is revived with the pounding mortar as Onion and pepper suffer the pain of being pounded. As we the male children sharpen our hoes and cutlasses, the females rinse their waterpots, as our father sniff his tobacco.
My mother – a young woman with half burnt face, small stature and she cried whenever father shouted on her, and the remaining wives mock her when father spits out her meal – i am the child of the last wife – the weeping pot. Whenever Father shouted at mother, she would lead me to her small hut as weep both on our shoulders.
‘Iya Aroo’ the mother of the house; mama abike would often insult my mother whenever it was their turn ti share the kitchen. It translates to ‘Mother of the crippled’ i could have not cared if my legs wasn’t bent sideways. If my hand can take a pin off the earthen mortar i would have told myself i can survive scars and to tell mother not to smile with such moving hope whenever she hugs me tightly in her hut.
I remember how mother’s face was carved with the ridicule of the village into sorrow. I was found with a dead girl on the way to the stream, and repeatedly i demonstrated to my mother how i found the girl already bled out, but my father’s wives and the village wouldn’t believe. ‘a mother would want to defend her child’ the village and father concluded.
I pace to and fro mother had constructed in the jungle – as mother each day cried while i silently listened. Mother is bad – she should have let me to be the guest of the creator and not have accepted both our banishment and each night she covered my lean body with palm leaves and a lullaby covered with hope brimming in her sunken eyes.
All the gods we worship in our land is incomplete without the earthen mother. Silently, i whispered between sobs “I love you mother”.

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