a poem by Ogamba Kodily-joe Frances, Nigeria

To you papa for keeping watch
From childhood till when I could wash
For reading those funny poems to me
Whilst in my crib I laid,preparing to dream
To you papa for those broken canes
Lashed out on my back that I almost went insane
For making me work hard just after being beaten
For those times you made me sleep without eating
To you papa for those ancient stories
Some made me cry while some were really funny
To you papa for those tedious jobs
Too hard for my age yet I did them without sobs
For those evenings you sent me into the rain
I thought you were cruel but I dared not say
To you papa for making me sleep on a mat
Both during the rainy season and in harmattan
For making me learn those poems by heart
Maybe that is why I write now with no lapse
To you poor papa for those times you worried
Praying for me and your rosary you hurried
To you papa for those wise words I never forget
And for allowing me watch you until the appointed date
To you papa as I remember you this day
Noting how much I loved you in those days
To you papa,on your tomb I lay singing this psalm
And I say thank you papa for everything I am.

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