This story begins with a pull and an ache

the day I lost my father, I lost my mother too
I drove home from the hospital, two corpses heavier.

there are many ways to lose a person, yes
you do not have to die to be dead, yes

my mother forgot how to live after her husband ceased to
i held water up to her parched lips to remind her how to drink
i stuffed holy bread down her throat to remind her that she needed to eat
i breastfed her, held her, sang to her
lifted her on my back, carried her on my knees to her gods
i begged them to remind her that she was still here, and so was i

there are many ways to lose a person, yes
you do not have to die to be dead, yes

the brother of my mother is my uncle
the sister of my father is my aunt
the daughter of my aunt is my cousin
and the mother of my mother is me.

By Chineme Ebi
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