Poetry Corner: Gold for less 

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Come Thursday

I take a shopping list to the market

A weekly list

Today the market is roaring

Hawking and howling and honking

Hustling and jostling and whistling

It’s a different market day today

Dragging and pulling and pushing

 

Now a pregnant hen is dragged to a market day

And her chicks are pushed sheepishly…some still in their shells

Now a duck and its ducklings are pulled by the neck

To marathon in their tracks to partake in a market

Then I know it’s that moment in time

For everything to sell

At the definite drop of a gavel

At the deafening clinking ring of a bell

 

Just one look

And I locate all my winged delicacies

The giant rooster

The motherly hen

The vociferous guinea fowl

Even the neckful duck

Their golden eggs still alive, oval and fresh

 

Well, I know why they all tagged along

Well, I heard there was no one at home

Agya had left for the farm at dawn

He had wished Eno a marketful day

Agya would not be home until just before dusk

Only after he was done with a day’s hoeing task

 

Today I pay for a giant cock

I spare a mother hen

I tuck a duck into the lower deck of my market day basket

Never mind the neck

But I think to mind the ducklings

Today I box them into a pack

Today I collect plenty of their golden eggs

Today I pay what is less than a penny

 

Eno said I was as good as to shop right

Her valued customer

Eno shows her ‘customer care’ without a bargain

She counts her lot and thinks I deserve a discount

She vouches for a vociferous guinea fowl

To follow me home free from cost

This market day she suffered no loss, she said

Eno wishes me to return come the next market day

 

Eno throws her eyes upwards, instinctively

The sun had decided to dim, suddenly

She picks up mother hen and her chicks…some still in their shells

They are still up for sale, she tells

 

Then she makes a quick dash to a stall across hers

…as she tucks mother hen under her armpit

My eyes follow in full lens

I look as she releases miserable hen

I see as she dumps mother hen on a waiting lap

 

My eyes see it all when she collects them all…the fish crumbs and their detached heads

The fish had first arrived with heads fully attached

But after making round trips for eight market days

With no secret admirer showing open interest

The putrefied section had broken ranks

 

I widen more lenses

I gasp as she collects with such odd seriousness

I sigh as she exchanges her Golden hen for stinking fish

For stinking fish!

Stinking fish to lick for less

 

Oh how she sells the Golden hen that lays the Golden eggs

Oh how she adds the Golden chicks for only a penny

 

What good are those fish carcasses, I wonder

“Oh Agya would return with a basketful of cassava

Plenty of green plantain

Plenty of green leafy greens

Not much will be our need

Only this fish we need to feed

Only a filled bowl to fill a hungry need”

 

So she sells Gold for a penny

Then she gets less for her plenty

 

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