Tuesday Poem Special By Remi Olutimayin

Welcome to the Tree, said the Branch

I heard your 1st cry
I was moved
Like the centre of the universe shifted subtly
And I thought of your tree
Our tree

I held you
15 minutes fresh in the world
You scowled at me
I couldn’t return the look.
A near sighted man is immune to body language.
Also, your fellow branches?
We all scowl at new challenges

Besides, that’s evidence to me
That you belong to this tree
It carries stories from far & wide
From Burma to ECWA
From Princeton to Columbia & Rutgers
From the RWFF (now the Nigerian Army)
To Kings College to Queens College

We are firsts among many
But we are not the many
We serve as people must be served
With dignity, kindness, respect
I pray you see these in my life

Holding you while you fought
Jaundice, Malaria, & cold touches that tickle
Bringing you out of your tanning bed
To bottle you to your fill
Change you when needed
Watching your mom watching me watch you
Being at home in the crook of my arm
All in your first week?
I don’t think, I know,
You belong to this tree

A tree that’s home to an architect,
2 civil engineers, 2 educators, a psychologist, 2 bankers,
A Priest & a priestess,
A Project Coordinator,
A Voice Actor/Director
What we all are…
Dream builders.
You are a dream builder
That’s all I will put on you

I don’t care what that dream is
Just make make sure
It’s not someone else’s nightmare you fear that fuels you
But the courage that comes from your dream
Seeing what is about to become , but isn’t yet visible.

Life will test you down to your roots
It will show you what I mean.
I’m confident about that.
You will do well.
Our branches do well.

I am after all,
Branch to branch.