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I played a lot like other teens
Indoors and outdoors soiled my clothes
I got my tooth broken
In childish combats and play.
Up my little cranium, I closed eyes
Crying bitterly, I backed the walls
Then threw the wrecked tooth
As the crow flies to the rooftop
Curious and frighten
That it may be eaten
By birds, lizards and all
I prayed to God for a guard.
“If eaten by birds it will never grow!”
So I sang good songs, to the birds.
Then; brothers and sisters were young
Fathers and mothers old; friends and I were all teen.
“To be intelligent;
Cocoanut juice dare not drink
Play on kids but for your mothers’ sake
Dare not draw lines along the streets; by dragging sticks.”
By Onyeche Vincent Onyeka
In line 8, ‘As the crow flies’: stands for straight. That is; “then threw the broken tooth straight to the roof top”
Childish superstition is all fun. Then we were told that when we break a tooth, we shouldn’t just throw it anywhere. We were asked to cast it to the rooftop. And when doing that we endeavoured to close our eyes. If not the broken tooth would never grow. There was this childish false notion that drinking the juice from cocoanut shell would make us (little children) unintelligent so we ate only the milky part. We were also told that if we drew lines with sticks as we ran by the road, our mothers’ breast would grow to long.