Old Town Nostalgia

old city nostalgia - ibadan - Terrakulture - elsieisy blog - poetry

I didn’t mention to you

How so nostalgic I am

About the cobblestone streets

The smell of new clothes

And hot crossed buns

The familiar shops, many of which

Have been there since I was a child

The red Buses are still there

The black cabs are still there’

How I feel so much like a child here

There’s lots of old and new to see

The town is very much “retail”

In every sense of the word

The culture of the people

Much the same

Not much of the wannabe issues

Rather I see people trying to be niche

Coloured hair, wellingtons on a sunny day

Free love, open affection

Not much make up, plenty make up

Lots of skin to show

And yet not many stares

They must have evolved

From the what will people say

To the ‘who gives a ……’

The push to have a 4-wheel drive

Is not there

Who will pay emission tax?

The push to own 3 or 4 houses is not there

Are you done paying the mortgage of your late parents’ house?

The one you now live with your children?

There is no need to stock up the freezer

because the electricity is steady

There is no need to fly abroad for treatment

Because “you are abroad”

There is also no need to twist

Your tongue

Black is black

You are black here

Not posh, not rich

Just black

Just African

And things will not change much

You know why?

Because they treasure

The withered and withering roots of history

They are quick to keep

Quick to restore

Quick to maintain

Quick to seek

Quick to find

Quick to ask

So they can pass on the baton

To the next in line

Don’t ask me why or when

The word called “manage”

Entered into our vocab

“Managing” things

Life, food, space, people, love

The managing is so much

That even when there is wealth

The spirit of managing

Takes over

An antique home is readily, easily pulled down

To make way for a modern house with

Buttons and gadgets

Powered by electricity

That is “managing”

And one is never enough

One more here, there

And anywhere

Why would nostalgia linger here

When there is no space,

No room, even in the minds of people

There is clutter

No room for nostalgia here,

There or anywhere.

Written by Nwaramina

2017

Feature Image – OLD CITY by DAGOLD MICHEAL – A painting of the city of Old Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria

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