Akudo

No one talks about the day turning to night, no one talks about the tears turning to water, and no one remembers Akudo anymore! That's why you can no longer speak, without your tongue clinching to the hard palate and still drink the ignorance of how Akudo suffered to raise the forefather of the image you see when you stand in front of a mirror!

"Your father and I loved each other. Our people have always been in peace. We always have a full moon appear before us, and we thank our gods for it. We harvested our yams without plucking maize on another man's farmland. We have never gone to snatch fathers from another land and leave their children in pain. We never burnt down houses belonging to a fellow human being. All we did was protect our forests from strangers and prevent wild animals from hurting us. I know we have failed. I'm sorry, son. If at all you survive and grow, don't think I was a wicked mother who should just abandon her child for the wild beasts. No mother gives her child to the forest; we know what we pass through as mothers. You shouldn't blame your father also because he died trying to protect us. I do not know how long I will go, but I know I'm tired. Ever since I gave birth to you, drops of blood have been falling off from me, and I'm losing sight. Goodbye Eleje, my son..."

Akudo dropped her child immediately since she could no longer bear the pain from a series of wiping falling on her back and on a commanding tone telling her to keep moving. Her legs have swollen like the belly of a black mamba feasting on a fat white cat-this time; something white was feasting on a black prey! She managed to arrange Bahama grass where she placed her child. 

Just then, it landed on her back again-a sharp stroke of the cane which could only cause bruises caused by repeated strokes of the cane. She rose, quietly twisting her back to contain the pain.

"gods of our land, protect my child," she cried out. Her little child started crying, thrusting his hands forward for adhesion as if he noticed the tragedy about to befall him. 

''Move!'' A voice rang, and from the front, gaggling sounds of dangling chains rubbing each other progress until it reached Akudo, who was forced to move. She wasn't the only one among the captives. Dozens of black faces, women badly shaken, moving in a straight line. Akudo made a pace that seemed to have triggered the cry of her abandoned child more. She looked back, and all that came out of her were tears.

Many times she wanted to breastfeed her child. They came holding her by the arm. Her grief was not because her child had been deprived of breastfeeding over and over. Not also because of the pain felt around her neck from the rusted ion chain making contact with her already exposed collar bones. 

Have you ever imagined how terrible it is for a mother who is just put to bed, forced to cover miles on foot?. Have you ever imagined such a woman carrying her baby who managed to take breast milk on a weak and moving mother? Those are not also her grievances. 

When Akudo turned crying in pain, she knew already that even if she took the cross of carrying her child further, nothing would be coming out of her breast anymore. For days she has been hungry, and not even her baby's cry could make her breast think twice. She withdrew and grabbed her little child at once.

''I don't want you to see your mother die. I do not also want to experience your death. But..."

Another four strokes landed on her. She was the reason others shouted in pain. She didn't consider the implications as she held her baby, receiving strokes of a cane from the white man.

 Soon, Akudo is back on track with her little child. She is loaded again, with a child, with chains, with strokes of the cane, and with tears, no one cares to remember. 

Her legs stuck in between spiny woods on the ground, some pricing her barefoot as she was trying to withstand the pressure from the white man who just kicked her back. She thrust her right hand like an eluding ghost hoping to grab support as tears kept falling from her eyes, her child's, and cry intermingling with those coming from other captives as though they were not wild animals! 

They were humans! 

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