Difficult Love

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POETRY

We see the toughness of your love.
You love your dear country

As a man loves
A child

With Down Syndrome.
Clusters of frazzled cells

Trussed up on a trembling plain.
O to love such a child

Is to hang the nerves on rafters.
Sometimes you wish it dead.

And sometimes you boil
In the head till you

Poke at God the Poor Craftsman.
Chromosome-riot, broad skull

And blunt face. A short drape
Over a short-circuited mind.

You really love this child
With Down Syndrome.

-Obari Gomba
––Dr Gomba, a one-timeshortlist of The Nigeria Literature Prize, teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Port Harcourt