You Should Know By Now

To Her,

As of now I have failed to summon the amount of courage needed to tell you this.
I wish I could wait for the day when that would be
But on the inside of me, there is fire on the mountain.
So I turn to alphabets empowering them to be my release.
I do pray that by tomorrow these words won't matter one bit
Because today you will grow and the shoe will no longer fit.
You should know by now that you deserve better.
Or is it until your crown no longer glistens?
You should know by now that you are of great value.
Or are you waiting for your gold to corrode
In the hands of a pauper too blind to recognise that you are treasure in every measure?
You should know by now that you deserve better.
I am tired of hurting from your pain that multiplies mine.
Why are you subjected to competing for his attention?
Isn't your love for him consuming enough?
Now you see yourself as never enough, paying compensation for his damages.
I want to write pages upon pages
But my heart hurts with every word, it really hurts

And I am frustrated when you blame love
For his failings that you clearly see but never see reason to address.
Maybe that's what society has taught you best friend-
To embrace him and lose yourself while doing it.
Otherwise explain to me why your dreams don't even want to associate with you.
Yes love is sacrifice, but why are you endlessly offering yourself on his table
When all he stands to represent is Cain?
Darling, love is clear and love is plain,
Please open your eyes and see that his is a chain.
You bet I'm angry and I can't even feign.
Love is tender so when his hands show everything but that
And I'm left soothing you from the lash of his tongue
I ask you why and you say love, I just don't get it.
I really just don't get it.

I have mourned for you...
Mourned for the future we painted as children
Because this definitely isn't it.
Mourned for the venom you've reluctantly had to swallow
Poisoning your innocence and delicacy
You deserve so much better my queen.
Growing up, I've always promised to fight for you,
Especially in moments when you lack the strength to do so for yourself.
Today I upheld my promise to you.
Today I did right by you and I made sure he did too in the least way possible.
I fought for the queen I know you to be, saved you from the slave he made you into.
So when he calls for a breakup and you call me, I'll pretend like I didn’t orchestrate it.
And you'll cry but I know you'll be okay.
You will no longer hurt me because you are free from pain,
I know you will be okay and inevitably I will be okay
Because he'll no longer be there to put out your fire
So you will gradually burn brighter and I hope to recognise you again.

I don't intend to be your knight.
I just want to see your phoenix take flight,
I want to hear your voice again empowered with might
Knowing that the only person you're competing with is yourself.
Now that is enough pay for me,
Knowing that you don't pay attention when they say you deserve less
But go for that best they secluded for the rest,
Now that is enough pay for me.
You know I wrote this one for you.

I hope you never settle for less in life and I hope you’re surrounded by people that ensure you don’t.

© O.M


Purple skies and yellow lights,

Peaceful nights and sweet meat pies.

Vanilla and elderberry fill the air,

Mr Shobande’s favourite combination of scent.

Disappears one minute and fills the next.

Just. Like . Him.


Mrs Shobande storms into the room

Complaining of the heat from the candles.

I think it’s the memory of him she’s really angry at but okay

This cup of Lipton tea is too sweet.

She waltz to Lara George playing so softly from my phone as she makes her way to the kitchen.

The sweet smell of her ofada sauce no longer bangs on the door.

Celebrating its freedom, it wafts through the corridor to my nose and makes its home there.

Only for grumpy Mr Salivary Glands to demand damages in immediate satisfaction for being awoken too soon.



Purple flowers and brown clay,

Ade Shobande o ma ti dele and it’s been three hours.

Patriotism and service to his country is all he knows.

I’ll try his Airtel number first then his 0809ja for lyf.

I hope he is in no trouble, I did warn him about wearing his camouflage t-shirt in these hostile streets.

Ready to limp off that thought I hear the sound I’ve become accustomed to,
His Honda Accord coughing and coughing before dying at the turn of a key.

I hear the wings of worry flutter away and anger makes a splashy entrance into the sea of emotions in my heart.

Ade ti dele sugbon o ti yo!

Before I open the door I can smell the city’s night life all over him.

From the Gulder to the paraga and Ireti’s cheap perfume, Ew!

“Buy the naira to grow the naira” he shouts in my face and I want to slam the door in his.

This is his way of service and grand showcase of patriotism to his country.



Purple vessels and pink jojoba,

Ayo Shobande sits and settles as I weave her koroba.

She tells the usual tale of her grandfather, the Oba to her little brother and his body relaxes as sleep captures.

A soft breeze caresses my neck and arms,

Luring me to the realisation that my neighbours aren’t as royal, magical nor mysterious as they appear.



I walk over to my house with a bowl of ofada rice and sauce safely tucked under my arm

Leaving that house with a deeper appreciation for the colour purple.

Knowing that under close scrutiny, what is purple on the outside is just red and blue on the inside.

Very much like my neighbours, the Shobandes.





©  O.M