Our Bond: Letters from a Sister by UdySylva
A few years ago, we danced in the rain, you and I, embraced by the beauty of nature.
We guided Baba’s flock, like protectors of the wild, to graze near the lushness of Nsit Ubium.
And we climbed the trees in the village, reaching for the heavens, like spirited souls in flight.
Do you still chuckle at the memory when your shorts unraveled as you climbed?
Quickly, I found a covering to shield your modesty, preserving your dignity.
In the past, we savored molded garri, a humble sustenance born from simplicity.
Crayfish, pepper, and a drop of water in Baba’s mortar, a harmonious blend that satisfied our souls.
Do you recall the challenges we faced, adversaries converging from all sides?
You, the fierce tiger of the village, and I, the unyielding tigress, even in the guise of skirts.
Do you remember when we intertwined our wardrobes, a symphony of shared clothing?
I wore your shorts, and you wore my tops, while slippers found solace in their ownerless state.
Can you summon the memory of that evening, when you proudly revealed the budding hairs in your armpit?
Under the gentle glow of a kerosene lamp, like stars emerging from darkness, we shared a revelation.
I, the champion of village football, defied conventions, breaking barriers with each skillful move.
You, urging me to soften my prowess, allowing you to shine in the spotlight for your admired one.
And that secret moment, when we indulged in forbidden palm wine from Baba’s sacred gourd,
For you had stolen a kiss, a clandestine rendezvous, embraced by the allure of nature.
But alas, Etieno, you underwent a transformation,
With Baba’s departure, a chasm formed, an unbridgeable distance.
The hidden meetings with esteemed village elders built a wall, weakening our unity.
Suddenly, you yearned for Baba’s role, assuming a position not meant for just one.
In the tapestry of our shared performances, we both could embody Baba, so why claim it solely for yourself?
Do you remember when Ekpeyong sought my presence, only to be turned away?
You declared yourself the guardian of our home, the one who holds authority.
I, in response, asserted my role as the woman, the nurturer, the guiding presence.
For in our unity, the head finds purpose only through the neck’s support.
But truly, Etieno, there should be no hierarchy between us,
For we are both unique in our essence, forged through the battles we’ve fought and the strength we possess.
You claimed I lacked physical power, that I had grown soft,
But strength takes many forms, and my spirit remains resilient.
My brother, not my superior, let us rediscover the bond we once cherished,
Where equality thrives, and understanding blooms anew.
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