I’ve been here for two days now
But I haven’t seen the sun yet
The cloud has eaten the sun
Has eaten the moon
And has eaten everything
Except the snow that swallowed the grass
That swallowed the road
That swallowed the flowers
That swallowed the smiles on human faces

I’ve been here for two weeks now
And I have made very many friends
As many as stars by the seashore
Everyone minds his business
And business minds no one
Everyone walks past me
And everyone says nothing
Everyone wears the colour of snow
And the heat of snow
Everyone talks
Everyone waves
But not to me
Everyone smiles

I’ve been here for two months now
And have been swimming in the squalor of my riches
Clean streets
Clean air
Clean people
Sans beggars
Sans refuse dumps
Sans immunity clause
I breathe here
But nothing takes my breath away
I live here
But my heart is far away

I miss the mosquitoes
I miss them badly
l’d give anything
To have their song in my ear

Fleeing the limping pace of indigence
I landed in the loud silence of opulence
Blown away by the hurricane of poverty
Blown into the snowstorm of plenty
I miss the cry of kids in the courtyards
I miss the sound of a stone on a glass window
I miss the whimper of a concerned mother
I miss the chatter of an offended neighbour
I miss the company of a quarel
I miss the desert in the middle of the ocean
I miss the gasp at a power failure
I miss the glee at its restoration
I miss the hills around my home
I miss the owls that hoot at night
I miss the mosquitoes
I miss them badly
I’d give anything
To have their song in my ear

(Late Fidelis U. Okoro was a senior lecturer at the department of English and Literary Studies in the University of Nigeria. He wrote plays and poetry.)