Happy Thanksgiving

by Victor Ehikhamenor

“Happy thanksgiving Victor”
Thank you Winston!
“I do hope you celebrate thanksgiving”
Everyday man…every single day of my life.
“No, I mean that special one day in November?”

Winston my friend, where I come from
We are grateful to God every day for being alive
The farmer is grateful for the rain
The salt seller is grateful for the sun
The mother whose child balances on her
Back is grateful for not having a stillborn
The civil servant whose salary has been paid
Is grateful because he has defeated hunger for another day
The market woman whose wares spread all over Balogun
Is grateful for a healthy commerce…

“Look Victor, all I asked was do you celebrate Thanksgiving
Don’t go poetic on me man”

Wiston, all I am saying is that I am from a thanksgiving nation
We give thanks every day
We have special people set aside singing
Thanksgiving songs in churches Monday through Sunday
There are those that visit the rivers
With a full size cock and a ram that shivers
In thanksgiving tremor
Grooms give thanks for undiluted brides
Brides give thanks for strong long-overdue grooms
Marriage gongs are songs of thanksgiving
Birth songs are songs of thanksgiving

When the farmer whistles in the middle of harvest season
He is giving thanks
When the newly wed rushes home from a night dance
He is going to give thanks to a waiting wife
When the head gele of a mother rubs shoulders with
The apex of the palm trees she is giving thanks
For a bouncing grandchild

When the drummer curves like a linear graph
He is giving thanks to the hide of his new drum
And you will not miss the thanksgiving rhythm

Winston, I am from a grateful land
Every day is a day of thanksgiving for us
If a man’s tomorrow is not hurried by a soldier’s bullet
He is grateful
If a taxi driver gets home with his trouser
Still on his waist he is grateful to the DPO of his precinct
If the bus conductor still has his right hand to hang on to life
He is grateful to his oga the bus driver for he was not too drunk
If a passenger gets home outside the coffin
He gives thanks to the God of all things including mad transporters

We are grateful for a morsel of bread slapped on our plate
We are grateful for a bowl of amala & ewedu
We are grateful for a piece of well roasted yam
We are grateful for the chemist man that sells Alabukun for our headaches
And pains
We are grateful for the affordability of O2

Winston my friend, we do not set a special day aside to reduce
The turkey population
Of my nation
And complain of obesity the next morning
Too much food on one table is a scorpion tail
In my conscience, it stings and reminds me so much of Somalia’s
Kwashiorkor laden streets
And Lagos’ long lines of beggars…

Winston, Winston…wait a minute where are
You going, you did not even stay to hear
What I will be doing this thanksgiving I am not finished yet
Oh, well happy thanksgiving my friend

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1 comment

Chris February 12, 2000 - 12:01 pm

I really enjoyed this article (poem), it plain plumbed the depths of how Nigerians feel at all times, and every moment we say ‘Thank God.’


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