The Food of Our Ancestors

I am from somewhere, in Africa.

I am from Eastern Nigeria

a region where foods speak our traditions.

where roasted yam means the New Yam Festival,

is used to celebrate the New Year,

to celebrate the god of yam.

I am from Igboland

where pounded yam is the emblem

of a good beginning,

where a nursing mother eats pounded yam

with ogbono soup

to revive strength,

and to celebrate the naming of her new child.

I am from Eastern Nigeria,

where the power of the wrestler

comes from Akpu and egusi soup,

a region that eats Abacha

to celebrate harvest season

when Abacha is used to tell about

the birth of cassava, the time of cassava

which tells the representation of Abacha

and it becomes the new beginning of cassava,

the rebirth of a season.

I am from a region, a land

where garri tells a new moment

of life, where we eat to survive

the long time of harvest.

I am from the Eastern part,

where okpa tells our logo

and it becomes our breakfast.

I am from Eastern Nigeria,

where every food feeds

our traditions.

Oliver Sopulu Odo is a Nigerian writer who has been published by Okada Books. His poetry has been published in the fifth edition of the Chinua Achebe Anthology as well as the End SARS Anthology 2020, organized by the society of Young Nigerian Writers. He was a contributor in the J.J. Rowling Anthology, 2021. Oliver was longlisted in 2022 for both The Green We Left Behind Contest, organized by Arts Lounge Literary Magazine, and the Spectrum Poetry Anthology. He won the Kepressing Anthology prize (Rebirth) in 2022.  He can be found on instagram at oliver_sopulu_odo and on Facebook at Oliver Sopulu Odo. 

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