Love Love Day – Ma Ton Ra E

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So today is the day of flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, perfume, and other really tired gifts. It’s the day when expectations are crushed or met. The day that has probably thousands of beating hearts around the world, preparing to propose.

And I’m here…writing. I’m on 75,000 words and my Valentines gift for myself is another 10,000 words. Can it be done? I dunno. But I am sure as heck gonna try.

But in honour of Valentine’s day, I’m going to post a poem I wrote a few years ago. I like it because it is the only poem I have mixed with Yoruba (my native tongue)

MA TON RA E

Our love is Elijah

but wheels screech; the chariot is on its head

rose speaks to me Ma ton ra e

Your love won’t survive another day

I stuff the rose down my throat

chew the thorns and swallow copper.

We will last forever

but your eyes tell me you don’t believe.

With a quill I scratch our vow on a dove,

There! Fly our plea to heaven

Ma ton ra e

I pluck its leathery feathers one by one.

I twist the arrow: admit love can be fair

With cupid’s last rites, Ma ton ra e

*Ma ton ra e translates tentatively as Don’t deceive yourself

Happy Valentine’s Day!

About the author

Oyinkan Braithwaite

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August 2018
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