Maami is mad. She bites her nails while she eats, and counts the grains of rice on her plate. She never eats beyond 100 grains of rice. Baami says he still loves her, but that even love cannot conquer madness, and that eventually, something has to give. Yewande only likes the bad boys at school, the ones who sag their trousers and hold their crotch. The ones who smoke weed behind the library during recess; the boys who have money, and yet, steal sausage rolls from tuck shop. I don’t have time for Yewande’s misguidance, I can’t guard or guide her because Maami is mad. I need to save Maami.
I am the 17-year old first child and only son of Mr. & Mrs. Olanerewaju. Olanrewaju translates to wealth walks before me (or wealth is imminent). The universe has taken this name seriously and allowed wealth to walk miles away from our home. My sister, Yewande, thinks Baami is a selfish man, who likes to mince money when it comes to family matters. I try to convince her that Baami does not have much, but she does not want to hear it. It will help if Baami stopped visiting the cheap brothel next to our street, and coming home drunk at late hours. I know the brothel is cheap because Baami is poor; else, how can he afford it?
Tomorrow, we are going to take maami to a hospital. The kind of hospital where the patients are prisoners and the doctors are wardens. The kind where drugs numb feelings as opposed to curing diseases. I know maami hates it because she has been there before, we have been here before, she has been admitted before. She will cry tomorrow, Yewande will wail, Baami will beg his father to financially assist the hospital bills, and I will write a poem about it. A poem like one I have written before.
my mother is mad,
my sister is sad,
the boys she likes are bad,
things are tough, things are hard
my mother is crazy
my father is drunk and lazy
he calls my mother his lady
but a whore is having his baby
my mother is mentally ill,
tender, and beautiful still
I hope that someday she’ll
smile, and happiness, she’ll feel
Tomorrow is going to be grim. I will go to sleep now.