my father's pocket as the portrait of a tax collector by Flourish Joshua
— for tff
i am a voice crying out in the wilderness of my father's
pocket, making straight the way. help is a caged bird with
a new tweet in its throat or a free bird with
a stranded body. today, we do not know from
where help would come. all roads to my father's
pocket is a crab hole. talk about an inferno of
ghosts or something more gothic, we are children trapped
in the belly of the past: forward never, backward ever.
talk to your uncles & aunties, let them send you money.
that's the best way Bándélé know how to respond
to the children of his wife. on days when hunger is a bandit,
my father's pocket laugh like a tickled hyena or a bored goat.
let's not say his pocket is a hard-working burglar.
let's nicely call it a tax collector, hoping that one day,
when we least expect, it'd mend
the potholes in the roads of our throat.
Flourish Joshua (he/him) is a poet from Nigeria. A NaiWA poetry scholar and second runner-up of the 7th Ngozi Agbo Prize for Essay Writing. He's a BellaNaija Contributor, Managing Editor at NRB and on the editorial board at Frontier Poetry Journal. He tweets @fjspeaks.