Volume 11, October 2014

D.M. AderibigbeView Contributor’s Note

New Hell

After Ama Ata Aidoo

Fire burnt on a cold morning:
he screamed "E mi o mo nkankan
I’m innocent" until his voice was

swallowed by the ravenous fire.
The woman arrived at the scene
to see her love had become ashes;
she poured tears before a broken
statue of Oshun.
I and my two siblings stood, staring —

our skins, veiled by Akure’s harmattan.
Police sirens were a muezzin’s voice
that slashed through the morning for solat;

the vigilantes, who made the fire
that that melted the life of their thief
without proof he was thief,

dispersed into our bewilderment.
Guns and truncheons lay
on the road, casualties in a war —
torn country —
police led the new widow to a van —
I and my two siblings stood, staring —

The fire died.