A Monday Morning in Lagos

Nigerian writer Jùmọ̀kẹ́ Verissimo shares her personal reflection of Lagos.

By Google Arts & Culture

Balogun Market (2019)The Centenary Project

A Monday Morning in Lagos
The street wears the lightness of another work day
men wear trusts on their brows to shelter the sun’s heat
the tar road snakes infinitely like lives on a course
of resignation
smothered groans are buried in blaring sirens
life drives on borrowed wheels:

Balogun Market (2019)The Centenary Project

A teenage boy sits in a corner embracing Mary Jane
a man who could be his father drives off raising dust
a stressed mother drags three children cursing
the traffic lights which had changed to green without warning
school children scamper the road mindless of learning hour

Balogun Market (2017) by Alex NwokoloTerra Kulture

Noise of all sorts fumes into the air with the smoke of men
the skies remains blue as the city embraces the wind
oceans of men pour on the street to run the Monday heat
they wish for a little leisure
sadly, there’s no little river to stand and stare….

Balogun Mark (2019)The Centenary Project

on these streets fallen leaves skims memories of a village dream
the city’s villagers have shed their dreams in the city rush
they’ve taken solace in planting memories in the bustling culture
between

A street hawker (2019)The Centenary Project

a little boys seek nature from a punctured cosmos:
he searches kerbs for a plant that has grown amidst moving feet
the wonder of a city where nothing grows – nothing remains
like tropical weeds in a land corrupted with unending feet in motion
and against these moving feet

Balogun Market (2019)The Centenary Project

men recite the thoughts of their cell phones as they hurry to everywhere
tracking money down to its crannies
a long friend from the distant past
consumes the rush in a flush of reminisces
the craze of unending clangs wets ears into calmness

Jumoke Verissimo (2020-07-01) by Yẹ́misí Aríbisálà

Monday
Monday mornings
The Monday mornings when the streets run the race of a year
The Monday mornings that we wake with a sigh
The Monday mornings when we wish against the hooting trucks
The Monday mornings when the street is a passage to our dreams
And the streets lead us to the homes of our crest
And the streets lead us to the homes of our crest.

Credits: Story

About Jumoke Verissimo
Jumoke Verissimo is the author of two poetry collections, I am Memory (2008) and A Birth of Illusion (2015) which was longlisted for the 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature. Her latest novel, A Small Silence (2019), was shortlisted for the 2020 Ondaatje Prize. Her works have been translated into Norwegian, Italian, French, Macedonian, among others. She’s currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta.

Credits: All media
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