Two Poems

Ehi-kowochio Ogwiji

for toys, i will buy my daughter a doll and a gun

my sister hugged her husband today/and her breasts began to leak milk/she did not know that the man/grew thorns on his chest/while she was away//her daughter/mumbles mummy/as her iris replays the footage of a crime scene/bright-red bruises perch on her little laps/her father’s shivering hands/trying to hide/a blood-stained diaper in the corner//the yelling yellow girl/has faded into/a pale pink girl//her mother’s absence/is the discolouring agent//my sister is scared/that the little girl will become a petal/whose hue cannot seduce the morning dew/that the little girl’s mouth would hold a thousand raindrops/and drown her tongue/that the flame of seven tongues/burning in between her thighs/will creep into her womb/then, her heart/and reduce her to a bot of ashes/programmed by trauma//the midwife announces the arrival of my baby/it’s a girl/she says//i sigh/and mutter/for toys,/i will buy my daughter a doll and a gun


Sore songs dancing on the tongue of a deaf-mute;
A mother carrying the lifeless body of her baby
Realising that silence is not an isotope of peace

A girl’s heart becoming a playground for
Delightful demons,
The pastor’s sermon on faith dropping dead at the
Door of her ears

Boys trying to strangulate fire, fingers clasped around
The neck of each flame, he begins to burn

A poem. Like this one. Each verse, the dust raised by
The feet of my fleeing kinsmen, who could not adjust
To eating bullets for midnight snack
And using arrows as chopsticks for exotic dishes of grilled flesh

Ehi-kowochio Ogwiji is a Nigerian creative writer who shares her thoughts on writing at she is not reading African poetry and novels, she freelances as a copywriter, and content developer. Ehi-kowochio has works in Harper’s Bazzar, Gyroscope Review, Ake Review, Upper Room Devotional, ANA Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Icebreaker, and a co-winner of the 2020 Girl Rising Storytelling Challenge.


*Image by Mòje Ikpeme

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up to get our latest stories, poems and essays!