2.21.18 – home

I just wanna go home

home to my uncles T O and M, I called them Uncle TOM when I was four

I just want to go home, home to my momma

between you and me, I call her Mommy, but her hugs make me feel more secure than four walls ever could

and I don’t like being touched

I don’t like feeling confined

but none of that matters when I’m home, because when I’m home, I have meaning

Iyaniwura

I’m not just five syllables strung together, no

when I’m home, I’m an honor

I know my dad named me for his mom, but to me? Iya ni wura? my mother is as precious as gold

when I’m home, I am the truth

because my momma?

perfection

and her momma?

priceless

and her momma?

I’m sure she was

priceless

perfection

but she’s Home now

if only she could’ve waited a little longer

I know she’d been around for me times five minus five, but I would give anything for five minutes with her

my momma told me that that thing I do when I sit, the way I sway and bounce, the way I can’t keep still, she said I got that from her momma’s momma

she told me that her momma’s momma loved rice

when have I ever turned down carbs?

she told me that since that’s her momma’s momma, I should already know what she was like

and I know she meant to imply that her momma’s momma was crazy, just like her momma is, but I’m sure she was perfection

priceless

did you know my great grandma was a princess?

her daddy was a king, so before she got married she had to ride around the village on a horse, and if the horse didn’t poop, that meant she wasn’t a virgin

horse poop

determined your virginity

anyway, that’s just how it was back then, back home

but sometimes, I wonder how much my home defines me

confines me

because if you were to ask me, I’d tell you i’m Nigerian, I just live in Jersey

but leave me alone in Ibadan for five minutes, and I’d get lost in that city

I don’t even know how we’d get there, my Nigerian passport expired years ago, and I was gonna renew it over February Break but then my momma’s momma’s momma died so…

anyway, I just don’t know

because when I go home, if I start to sway and bounce my momma asks me “ki lon ṣele”, and she doesn’t call me Yani, or even Wura

she calls me Yetunde

that’s what my momma named me, because my momma’s daddy’s momma went to her Home just two months before I got to mine

Yetunde, my mother has come back

I am the worth of a mother, the return of a mother, do you see where my importance lies?

when I’m with my momma, I’m safe and sound in the home she builds around me, and when I’m with my momma’s momma I’m well fed, physically and spiritually

and I know that’s how they felt when they were with my momma’s momma’s momma

but she’s Home now

and I’m here, wishing and praying to go to a home that defines me without confining me, a home where I fear no one’s touch, a home where I have worth, a home I can return to

I don’t always know where that is, but I know I’ll always have my momma

and my momma’s momma

and my momma’s momma’s momma

I am a continuation

I am royalty

I am perfection

I am priceless

because of my home

2.21.18

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

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