Anthology of Ands….

Once in a while, you come across some literary works that leave you in awe of the author’s imaginative prowess. This work is one of such. I hope you find this as intriguing as the person who sent it across did. Read and enjoy, and as usual, we love hearing from you, so, don’t hesitate to drop a comment.

Anthology of Ands…..


Gloria Odigwe

And I tell her that nobody goes to the hospital for ringworms. Our mothers chew the soft tendrils of orange leaves to a pulp and spit it on the diseased spot, especially the head, we mix potash and salt and water and coat the bald whitened area with it but we never go to the hospital; not for ringworms.

I tell her about those naked and carefree days when we clapped in harmony with the thunder, excited for the glory of rainfall because salt is free and mother would not miss a few pinches. Pinches we would squander without regret on earthworms and watch with well-earned delights as they perform frenzied acrobats with the caustic whiteness of our fee.

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I tell her about the long, white worm that burst a hole through swollen, black legs and wriggled free, alive. We watch from windows left open to let the smokes out, smokes that burn the black chalk and yellow leaves that would make all of them come out and they always come out.

She says Bobo has to go to the hospital for the ring of worm on his head and I tell her about worms, the transparent, thin ones, the green and blunt ones, the white and pin headed ones even the ones that are rather elusive, under the bald, white patches like a tiny desert in a mangrove of hairs. I tell her about the orange leaves and the smoke and the salt yet she folds a note into his tiny palm and tells him it is for his treatment. We watch him skip away and her kind heart and watery green eyes cannot understand that anyone can have ringworm and be happy. I tell her I cannot understand why she thinks it is so complicated.

It is simple enough. When you live on marasmic corn puddings all your life because it is what you can afford on the patch your grandfather left your father, when you are a few days shy of Christmas and your last salary was in February, then some things, even ringworms become bearable. I told her we don’t go to the hospitals for ring worms but I will not tell her that Bobo’s mother will shuck the money in the secure grip of her wrapper ear and give silent thanks for providence that made tomorrow’s journey to Wood Market with her washed out polythene bag possible. This evening, Bobo will sit on the ground between his mother’s thighs with his tangerine and itching scalp for another dose of the medicine.

Hash tag; I told her.  #Ands Up!#

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