Mama Said (David Ishaya Osu)

Breakfast Table

Mama serves us coffee
at night. Not because

she wants us to stay awake.
Everyone brings a dream

to the breakfast table. Face

your food, you are
still in the room

enough not to lessen
your body. Of course

I am here anytime
to make more for you

and your friends
and the distance

between houses
is love.

Mama Said 

make books
with plum

a pie
this was
how hard
light & lovely

mama said
bolts & boys
should be


i woke up from
                 a dream, crying
                                   and asking for

water—last time
                 it was ice cream
                                   and new papers

father bought
                 for my birthday
                                   he said, build

aeroplanes and
                 watch your dreams
                                   fly: the house

was quiet, the
                 trees were not
                                   —when is daddy

coming back, i leaned
                 into mother touching
                                   her breast as if

i forgot something
                 she kissed my nose
                                   and went to the door

the rains were here


*These poems are from David’s chapbook, When I’m Eighteen, which can be downloaded here. His latest ebook, Once in a Blue Life, can be purchased here

David Ishaya Osu is a poet, memoirist, editor and street photographer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies across Nigeria, Uganda, the UK, the US, Australia, South Africa, India, France, Bangladesh, Austria and elsewhere. David is the author of the chapbooks When I’m Eighteen (2020) and Once in a Blue Life (2020). He is also an associate poetry editor with Plenitude Magazine, and the poetry editor of Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, and is looking forward to starting a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide as soon as the Australian borders are open to international travels. Find more from David at his website