ABU IBRAHIM OJOTULE

Homecoming

In my country, this is how we celebrate a typical homecoming:

there are no family members at the dinner table,

no loud laughter over embarrassing histories every member of the family knows too well,

no silence as the strange stories from the one who just got back take us past midnight—no reasons to lose sleep.

Here, homecoming is the struggle to get a foreign visa as family waves goodbye at the airport— happy to see you flee—

sitting in the belly of an iron-winged bird ribcaged by questions and unpredictability.

Homecoming is a land you’ve never been—a place built with your hands and mind, and hopefully, those left at the airport might eventually be brought home.

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