(to Ishola, a nephew)

the mere thought 
of it
is grating

some time to come
you shall no longer
be the
not-yet-two year old
shoor shoor (as your mama has pet-named you)
(or ishyyy, as i have)

patrolling the house,
pockets overflowing
with inexhaustible cheer;
freely doling lumps out 
to grownups
who could definitely
do with some

we’ll taunt you
into exasperation
you scream it:

and then
(rather than obeying you
and stopping)
we collapse
with gut-upsetting ripples

(then its back to provoking
for us silly adults)

-look at ishyyy cooking sand-rice and sand-banku
-look at him: running and running and running 
about the house; rarely ever falling, rising 
rapidly if he does

isn’t he sweet; straddle-riding my
shoulders, beaming
with his honey-dark lips parted,
sugar-white teeth showing

“ah, he’s so beautiful”
myself and your aunt are fond 
of saying about you
“like a girl,” she invariably adds

and i’ll scoff:
as if boys
can’t be beautiful too

-shoor shoor is a beautiful boy
-is sunshine and rainfall and rainbow
-is love(d)

he makes us laugh&laugh&laugh&laugh&laugh