The Child God of Chaos

Her first scream split the midwife’s ring 

And cut the defibrillator’s wires to confetti. 

Her giggling drove nursery schools to hysterics 

And her breaststroke rose tidal waves each lap. 

Her baking pillowed the whole house in clouds 

And dancing threatened its concrete foundations. 

Her singing caused the male choir’s discord 

And stuttered the organist’s fingers to stop. 

Her driving lessons gave highways nightmares 

And her break-lights discoed traffic lights dead. 

Her kisses caused murmurs in her lover’s heart 

And her love-making crushed hip bones to flour. 

Her runaway-from-home sparked a black hole 

And it grew to completely consume her friends. 

Her mood-swings ruptured weather patterns 

And her merest indifference iced over lakes. 

She heard of a hurricane making for the city 

And entering quietly, she swallowed the storm 

And found her life’s calling. And saved us all. 

unpublished poem, © Inua Ellams 2021, used by permission of the author

Inua Ellams was born in Nigeria and is now based in the UK, where he has become one of the UK’s most recognised cultural icons. He is ...

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