It Was a Small Room

The room barely fit a bed, a chest of drawers, and a rocker, all not hers. Nothing in the room was hers except for a few loose-flowing bubus, two warm-up suits, a few framed portraits of her children’s families (her younger child’s, a daughter with whom she lived here in New York City; and her son’s, who lived in San Francisco). The igba drum her husband once beat back home sat on the floor in one corner of this very small room. The incessant honking and clang and bang of construction machinery outside were also not hers. How they woke her up at night! Although it didn’t take much these days to wake her. In this wakeful state, she would stare at the walls around her, the ceiling, out the window at the grating noise, and tremble. There were no goats bleating, cocks crowing, no vibrato wailing of old man Udo’s renditions of Igbo spirituals to put her in a restful mood.

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