“The harvest was good this year” Nneka murmurs to her sleeping son. The silhouette of a bird, wings outstretched sails across the curtains as Nneka gets up to extinguish the kerosene lamp. Her nails are chewed and years of worry have peeled the surrounding area to reveal sore pink flesh.
She treads out of her son’s room, silently passing through the wooden beaded partition. The sky smells of trepidation and holds the gargling trembling tension that precedes lightening. The air is murmuring with expectation.
Nneka steps out and walks. She passes the house of the chief, passes the house of her paternal uncle until she reaches the furthest house at the edge of the clearing. Nneka walks to the end of the clearing where the bush begins. She kneels by three unmarked mounds and raises her hands skyward.
“Ya Allah cure him”
The next morning Nneka is found serene, head bowed, in the same position. Cool rain has collected in her palms.