When someone asks me a sudden question, I pray for the hands of the clock
to freeze for five minutes so I can couple a response without flaws,
because most times my memory is a museum covered in dust and I do not remember where I dropped the mop stick–

but time bears no emotion to feel my discomfort.
I don’t stutter as often as I used to.
Now whenever I speak I do not ex-ex–
expect my words to fail me.
Sometimes they still do.

At first, my mind assures me everything is okay until every syllable
starts to feel like a pothole covered in shallow gravels.

Overtime I have learnt to chisel my sentences,
to mould every reply into clever miniatures.
I have learnt to treat time with patience,
to sip every second like a cup of hot coffee,
carefully now it barely scorches.

So pardon every pause we make before we tell you how our day went.
Because every pause is a search,
an attempt to ressurect memory,
to prevent a dreadful stutter.
But on days when fear begins to tickle impatience,
‘I’m fine’ feels like two fire trucks trapped in a traffic jam, unable to get get get–
to reach it’s destination, till the whole house burns down to crumbles.
On days when my tongue is a congested boulevard,
I feel my words struggling to drive home safely.

┬ęSamuel Adeyemi

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