Tuesday Poem by Adebiyi Olusolape

Why I Write



See the toddler sitting

Upright in an opening on the forest floor

Comfortable in the fat of his body and in his tunic of musical colours

Eyes in the big ball of a head

Squint to touch like convex legs of a callipers itch to touch

Govern immense industry

In two active arms

Over the vast dock of space between two bow legs



The fountain pen

Of the fat nib

Squats like a hound between the hunter’s feet

His is the odd-leg callipers

Because he limps

the one is not as long as the other

the road is not as long as the river

this piece of earth, not as long as that patch of sky

the thumb, not as long as the index finger

But who gave it the child, this outsized dog with the lonely flap of a single ear?


That dark tool of the nominal hunt

Sits ensconced between the thumb and the prestidigitator’s beckoner

The opposable stub and the prestidigitator’s forefinger

Dragged across the white page of the wide riverbank in the sidewise wag of the river crab


It fits before it slips to the forest floor

Cocks his elbow and presents the pen-arm to himself

For inspection

In that instant he smiles, amused

Before it slips to the forest floor.