Ekun Iyawo

This house has fallen
by Nelson Vincent

Since there is no way before
Let me turn back
I am Lot’s wife
A known friend betters the unknown enemy
If I would die,
Let me know he who is noble enough to kill me

Let me turn back
To face my treasured possessions
And flowered pack
Let me turn to clear my illusions
That I will see them no more

What the Old man sees on his seat
The young on the tree cannot see.
Let me turn back
And be blind
And be dead
To the ruins and rumbles of this fallen house.

Ekun Iyawo
by Nelson Vincent

Dear Amope¹

You know our many legs faithfully followed
you all the way.
Now, Olu Ilu² wants us back
This, they say, is the boundary of Spinsterhood

May Alaale³ guide you through the troubles of a man’s heart,
His mother and the many troubles
That your in-laws contain

May you birth many miracles in mortals
And these breasts, may they never refuse Children …
Plenty Children!
May you open doors for other young women
Who have no stead.

I will joyfully weep my lines in the
Ekun Iyawo*
Like an actor memorizes his lines
Together with my spinster friends
We sing “Till death do you two part”

¹Amope: A Yoruba name for a lady
²Olu-Ilu: Village head
³Alaale: He who owns the land, usually ascribed to God, the creator
*Ekun Iyawo: Matrimonial rites, a cry for a lady departing to her husband’s home.

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