Literary Yard

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‘Grief as My Uncle’ and other poems

By: Salim Yakubu Akko

Photo by Inzmam Khan on

Grief as My Uncle

I’ve learnt how to speak in my motherland
as how a toddler learns how to walk
the language of grief

I was taught how to count
as how young poets reckon poetry lines
the colours of grief

grief is my mother tongue
the language I learnt from my childhood days
the best food I eat

and still, here I am
like a wingless bird
listening to its melodious songs

dear uncle grief
I’ve heard, learnt, ate &
felt you enough

remember, you once promised to me
if I write to you a poem
you’ll leave my motherland & let us have another beginning

dear uncle grief
it’s now a new year
& still, we’re enjoying your sweet breakfast

for the promise you made to me
I wrote this poem for you
I beg you leave my motherland

dear uncle grief, remember
I am the shattered son
who worships for you


Another Beginning

Is when the scorching sun
Smiles at our broken hearts

It is the beginning that terrifies
The tales that break our hopes

Like the drops of the drizzle
It comes with peace

Another beginning is when we open our teary eyes
Beholding a peaceful land


Salim Yakubu Akko is a Nigerian writer and poet. He has his works published/forthcoming in Applied Worldwide, World Voices Magazine, Trouvaille Review, Ice Lolly Review, ILA Magazine, Scratch Poetry Magazine, Upwrite Magazine and elsewhere. He has also been shortlisted for the 2021 Bill Ward Prize for Emerging Writers.

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