3 Poems│Oghenetega Grey


Scattered Verses of My Letter to God


I remember the day you died,
It was the same evening pa lost his name.
We called him a body.
The sky stained himself with mami’s blackened unwashed pots.
My eyes carved themselves into empty hollow windows,
Painting themselves red.


Dear God.
Why am I surrounded by broken bodies with chipped edges?

Dear God.
Are you there anymore?

Dear God.
Why does the earth eat the bodies of good people?

Dear God.
Can you take my pain away?

Dear God.
Why ain’t I allowed to ask you why?

Dear God.
Why did you leave with no child’s support?

Dear God.
Why can’t I weave these alphabets to show you my pain?


It’s been two months since brother Ayo lost his job.
Two weeks since I lost my lover.
Two days since our home went missing.
Two hours since I started this letter.
Two minutes since i became empty.
Two seconds and my eyes bathe in the water within me.


My body is suffocated by pain.
I have to keep using my inhaler with my footsteps stuck in life.
Aunty Yetunde lost her innocence on her way from your house.
These days,
It seems we keep losing everything.
You do nothing to help us find ourselves.
You still won’t gift us new items.

A Hymn On Fear

                   God, you are listening?
 I’m full with fear
—Nome Emeka Patrick

Today//we look inside your head//& find a tumor suffocating your brain//your body becomes a mass of water//wanting to be heard//fear squeezes my bones into jelly//I kneel wobbly//slowly wrapping my tongue around my heart//& gift it to God//my eyes tell him your brain isn’t a burial ground for a tumor//I ask him to leave it buried in his palms//he glances in my direction//& struts away//leaving my gift unopened//my body erects an altar of tears//decorated with a portrait of your tumor//I leave an offering of emptiness//I speak to my agony//hoping he doesn’t give you wings to fly away//hoping your tumor doesn’t swallow you whole

Death Note

Joy has a face I do not remember as my own
—Michael Akuchie


My skin is coloured in depression.
You carefully built a river between us,
so my colour doesn’t steep into your skin.
I carved my colours off
& my body became a basket;
unable to keep the blood in,
so they ran out.
I’m sitting on the path to your eyes
& your lids shut their window against how
beautiful pain sits on my body.


These days,
I fold myself into a semi-colon
waiting for my hands to mold me into a full stop.


When I strip my skin bare of these colours
& embrace the peace in “Rest In Peace”
Would you put my picture up?
Would you clothe our memories
& put them on the runway for the world to see?
Would you also bid me farewell,
when death kissed me a million times on your doorstep
with you looking away?

Oghenetega Grey is young girl that writes from somewhere in Nigeria. She spends most of her time painting pictures of the worlds within her in ink. Her poem “Wailing Mother” was shortlisted for the 2019 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize(NSPP).

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