Dark Odes

D.M. Aderibigbe

*On April 15 2014, 234 girls were abducted from Chibok Government Secondary School in Borno, Nigeria, by a terrorist group, Boko Haram. As at the time of this poem, the girls are not yet found. 


The morning rings at the entrance 
To my dream -- my eyes open  
Like a twin-gate: on the screen --

A line of numbers dances
with my sister's name: her 12-year-old voice 
wavers -- her skin is starving from my palms.

How breakable a young heart
Is, once the world becomes their own. 


My radio spurts confusion 
Into the morning: two thirty four young 

Voices plucked out of the day's eyes
With guns and grits, 

Their cries stuffed inside our agape
mouths -- voices learning how to shape 

The future into sizes of their hearts.   
In Borno, chalkboards 

of their empty
Classrooms are filled with dirges -- 

Below the moon drifting above their huts,
Odes written with parents' mouths 

for the girls, slipping 
Out of their bloodlines.

D.M. Aderibigbe was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduates in 2014, with an undergraduate degree in History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos. His work appears in Hotel Amerika, Rio Grande Review, and B O D Y. He’s been nominated for the 2014 Best New Poets Anthology.