Darkness too thick to be called darkness
Nothing seems to make sense
Yet from the darkness, hope speaks
How do I explain to hope?
That I have waited for far too long
How do I explain to patience?
What it means to be hopeless
How do I make sense of nonsense?
How do I weave hope from nothing?
From the abyss, hope speaks again
You do not understand
Allow me to explain
Aremu is a successful cocoa farmer
Akanni is a successful basket weaver
We belong to the same age grade
How do I explain to baami?
That it is not yet time to enjoy the fruit of his labour
Or to Yeye
That the yam she has prepared for many years is not yet done
An anomaly of the highest caliber
An abomination of the finest timber
How do I explain to Ayanfe?*
That it is still not time to pay her bride price
While I watch her youth blow out
Like burnt firewood abandoned after use
After many years of failed promises
And whispers of love under the mango tree
They say money is not everything
Oh! How I wish it were true
In a soft breath, hope speaks again
Be patient with yourself
Be not too eager for wealth
It will come in its own time
At the end of the day
A word remains enough for the wise
No! You do not understand
You only think you know
But you do not understand what it means
To move from disappointment to disappointment
From failure to failure
Like a pattern drawn on adire*
Sometimes in unending circles revolving round and round
Sometimes like parallel lines that may never meet
Have I offended the gods?
Or committed an unpardonable sin
What is my crime?
I have planted my seeds in season
And watered them well
I have neither been indolent nor slothful
In trade or in business
I have paid my dues
And paid them well
And this is what I get
As reward for work
Barely having enough to eat
Scraping and toiling
With no end in sight
Is this what virtue is all about?
The nobility of character
What is the use of hope?
Is it edible?
It will get better
Things will change
How do they know it will get better?
Do they not know it can also get worse?
Or do things only change for the better?
In a voice now firm
Hope speaks again