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Thirteen Ways of Looking At My Mother's Radio by Taiwo Hassan

Thirteen Ways of Looking At My Mother's Radio

After Anointing Obuh's "Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Window"


the eldest of my siblings


silence is a language my mother speaks,

a lesson my eyes never stop reading,

one gaze, one word, one breath at a time.

a radio is a metaphor for her silence.


my father is an irony of a radio


every radio teaches you the art

of listening, of dissecting pictures soft yet heavy.

my mother's is a home where her tears find peace.


there are only so many seas a boy

can drown in - salty drops of daily shattering news,

his father's punches and the emptiness that follows.


the world looks like a scale

through its speakers.

my mother's face morph into several seasons,

each day by her radio.


is a radio enough to fill

certain voids

without turning into one?


the walls of this house shrink

at the sound of this object.

a black hole is all that's moulded,

sucking everything but tear tracks

and my mother's scars.


i still marvel at the raw power

of my mother's radio.

the history etched on its antennas,

a loop of studded stories and quenched qualms.


a radio is a piece of God, a poem,

like the wrinkles beneath my mother's forehead.


i, sometimes dream in colours,

in shades of the wind. the morning sun hums,

that radio sings & i remember them, in flashes,

in gritty pieces.


my mother wears a veil of smiles,

her radio must have poured out some good news.


today marks two months, four weeks

& five days after her husband left.

my mother's radio plays the same song

on the day she finally drowned her shadows.

Taiwo Hassan is a Nigerian student, poet and writer. His works have appeared in Best New African Poets Anthology, Liminal Transit Review, and Praxis Magazine, to mention a few. When he's not writing, he's either listening to music, singing or watching TV series. You can find him on Twitter @symplytaiwo

1 Comment

Joshua Effiong
Joshua Effiong
May 22, 2021

This is so captivating

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