Missing By Ijeoma Umebinyuo


Home is expecting you, I am worried you will arrive a half broken verse of a youth; with a heart whose beat will never understand her mother. I worry. I check the news daily, bodies have not been found, the girl jumped out of the moving truck, they said she jumped on her belly, the baby died, her only way to kill the being inside her she hated. She was a classmate of yours.I watch her mother attend to her bleeding, she remembers you but her eyes tell the reporter to ask no further questions.

We wonder where to begin. The neighbors have been taking turns to check on your mother. Yesterday, the soldiers came with a piece of wrapper for mama Hadiza; she has not left her house. It was my turn last night to check on your mother and I found her holding the face of mama Hadiza, offering her a piece of her hope. You are missing, dead to some. Hadiza died when the covered woman blew herself up.

We wonder now. We wonder when home will bring you to us. We pray each day, your name uttered again and again. “She’ll return, my daughter will find her way back to her mother” I hear your mother say, her face lights up at the mention of your name. Home has let the blood between her thighs become a river. Your father has become a body of sad smiles, and buried happiness.

By Ijeoma Umebinyuo


I am a writer and a recent author of my first collection of poems.
I was born and raised in Nigeria.

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