Iya Joke did not cry on the day her child died. She looked at the body and walked out of the room. She did not come back to the house after that. Last week, some children said they saw her at Eleyele Junction. She sat by the big church opposite the meat stall. Her wrapper loosely tied around her chest and her hair unkempt. They said she called every little girl Joke and even tried to pull a child from the mother’s hand once.
The children who saw her yesterday said she sat in front of the church, still, like the figure of Jesus which stood beside her.
Today I walked up to her. She did not recognise me. She used to shout, “Ore mi, my friend”, when she saw me on the road. But today, she did not talk. She looked at me as if I was not there. Her eyes were empty. I touched her bare shoulder and said, “Iya Joke”
She looked at me and smiled,
“Ajoke’s legs are still moving. When she stands up, I will come home.”
Written by Ngozi John
Ngozi John is a student of English and Literature in the University Of Calabar. She is in love with words. To her, writing is one of the beautiful forms of expression.