Goodbye Mama Nike

By Tunde Odesola

Before death came knocking
God took her away gently
Silently, like a breath
Deep, and was gone
79 in September
Heaven in October

My second mother;
If you’re afraid of the truth
Avoid her
She was Mother Sarcasm
She had a joke for everyone
Beautiful heart, intelligent brain

I’m glad you lived a fulfilled life, mom
Though I’m sad all the family panegyrics
I wanted from you
Now freeze in the morgue
You had no university education
But you had universal knowledge

Knowledge that truth outstands falsehood
That good name outworths gold
That integrity outvalues dishonesty
You were always so understanding
You appreciated gifts no matter how little
I never saw you get angry

You have a way of saying the truth
In a funny and acceptable way
The right and the wrong
Would laugh in the end
Never begrudging, always correcting, lovingly
Soothingly with words

Who’s going to sing my praise?
Igbajo Iloro, Omo Alaaye
Omo se owo, Omo gbaagbe
Edun Iloro
Eni moore ye
Moka l’otun, eji l’ayo
Omo malo, malo
To lo igba ewe loju olo…

I’ll come back here and write some more
About your goodness
I’ll crawl away for now
To absorb the shock
Of your painful exit
Mummy Ibadan.

I love you, Mama Nike.

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