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Prayers

LONGLISTED – POETRY JOURNAL 2024

May the ground hold our footprints, not the bodies of our beloved fragmented by bombs.
May a child not lie at a street in Jos – conversing with his dead mother.
May the gaze of the sun not be blurred by the dust of bombs.
May the violet rays not die with the sun.
May the dove not collide with the archways of the night.
May the night not last forever.
May the spring not die of summer.  
May the guitar not cry before it goes silent. 
May the poet’s voice be a song crossing barriers.
May a two-year-old in Zamfara not mistake a rainbow for a cyclone.
May we not sleep in fear and despair – forgetting to leave our windows wide open to the light.
When the light comes, may it not leak from our bodies.
May our wells be known as harbourers of water and not tears.
May tomorrow come with rain, enough to flood the land with peace.
And if we shall sail, let’s sail on the boat of freedom.

Adamu Yahuza Abdullahi

Adamu Yahuza Abdullahi is a poet from Kwara state, Nigeria. He is a pioneer resident of the Muktar Aliyu Art Residency, Minna, Niger state. He is a ‘Best of the Net’ nominee and a second place winner of the first edition of Hassan Sulaiman Gimba Esq Poetry Prize and the Bill Ward Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers 2023. He is on X / Twitter: @yahuza_theplob and Instagram as @Official_yahuzeey.

PJ2024 Longlist
1. Blood Ties
2. Born Again
3. Entreaty
4. Good Mothers Stay Home, Good Fathers Pay
5. Pain Is A Place
6. Postpartum Depression in Men
7. Prayers
8. Premonition
9. The Hood
10. What Came Out as a Poem

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