Some night on the front veranda

Odede-meh cuddles me to her bosom

And tell me our stories

She told me about herself

The cassava girl in cassava plot

The sugarcane girl singing happy song

Of Esan lore in the cotton plot

A whole heart full of such stories

Just as her life with me were full

Becoming more vivid in her story

As the images mingle themselves softly

In the sing-song voice of odede-meh

Sometimes to control my waywardness

(As I learned at later age)

Odede-meh tells fearful stories

Black as that night was black

She told me fearful stories

Black as the depth of my Africa

She told me true stories

Not gotten from any book

Stories as true as her life is true

And of her great grandfather

The mighty Negro cotton picker

She told me about her childhood

And of selling her scanty wares

Of the wizened old medicine man

That circumcised her sugar…

Odede-meh has a whole heart full of such stories

Some night on the front veranda

Odede-meh cuddles me to her bosom

And tell me such stories

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