Umukwu: In Cold Mornings

It is a very cold morning
As dew descend upon this land
From those ancient hills
Standing like medieval knights
Protecting, shielding and guiding the hamlet
Quiet, queer and strange
But full of amazing life

When you feel the cold
Touched by the tip of a grass leave
On your way to the stream
Or on your way to the farm
Tucked away somewhere
Through windy pathways
Hidden in the green forest
The trick of Nature comes to you
The streams are very cold
Icing cold, it takes a huge heart
To plunge a fist in the waters

The shivering cold feasts on the flesh
Turning the skin to white colorings
Driving dry airs through the nose
And up the hills, one could hear sounds;
The cutting of palm fronds
The call of the wild
The wind brings sweet scents
Of wild sunflowers and marigold
And the cooking of my people
Though the cold be so a tyrant
It revives memories never to be lost
To a wild and country-loving boy

Umukwu is a hamlet located in Ovim, Isuikwuato in Nigeria. My mother is from here and I have spent some time living here. It is a very quiet place, save from the birds twittering and the buzzing of insects in the mornings. The hamlets is almost cut off by breath taking hills surrounding it, cold streams with big catfishes and crabs which are not to be killed; very fanciful tradition you might say. The people are homely, welcoming and very friendly; a typical feature of the Igbo ethnic group.

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