By Ogwiji Ehi-kowochio

You see this my grey hair?

and the large white patch which

occasionally hides in that cap of mine?

It is the fraction of a teacher’s earthly hell

as migrant white chalk particles like a racist

who can’t bear an extra day in the midst of blacks,

emigrates from the blackness of a blackboard

to be permanent residents on my head

Yet all I hear is: “The teachers’ reward is in heaven

safely tucked away in God’s breast pocket”

So I read and read until my right eye popped from its socket

for I thought if I become a lecturer

I might create for myself an earthly haven

while my ears masticate the classical music

of teachers’ heavenly rewards

from the mouths of people who do not know that

in their pockets, hides a teacher’s salary and awards

Tell me not my child, to be mild

for tomorrow when I lean helplessly on a stick

with my head all bald

they will spew me into the bin of retirement

Child,  I do not ask too much if I ask that you sit back

and watch this wrestling match as I strike a match stick

to burn a fraction of your future fights

Please, infuriate not my ears with your quibble and scribble of haste

for we all know that the cake which is in a hurry to leave the oven

is on an irreversible mission to render itself inedible

Ogwiji Ehi-kowochio is a 400 Level student of the University of Ibadan. She loves writing poetries about contemporary issues. Read more of her poems on

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