An Exchange I “You didn't send me your list yet?” I murmur a procrastination. Undecided whether to tell you How I burnt the list. Blowing the ashes into the night air On the breath of my own longing. In any case the gifts I want No money can buy. Not now. Not this year. Not from anyone. A hug. A slow dance. A kiss. Like so many others We settle on a phone call. On Christmas Eve. At midnight. Our own communion. A memory of this strange year. Christmas Present II “Surprise me!” You rebuff my demand. Calmly pointing out that You can hardly be expected To know what I want If I don't know what I want. I sulk at this logic. Jealous of Past Me. Who would have crossed water, Flown miles, clambered hills. Sure of my room at your inn At the end of my journeys. And oh so resentful of Present Me. Restricted to Virtual spaces And electronic dependencies To touch a face on a screen. Hesitantly hopeful that Future Me, Future Us Will once again See each other unmasked. And re-learn to hold hands Without terror. New Year’s Eve III New Year's Eve - A time of promise. Of new starts and fresh slates. But this past year has Brought so much, so many I am tired of the strange. Of becoming accustomed To masked non-recognition And garbled internet speech. Tired of the virtual I long for the personal To be tangible once more. Not at a shadow digital remove. However, tonight Physically distanced. We shall dance. You and I On our individual screens. So that next year's eve Gorging on our touchability Sweaty and hand clasped We shall sway As if to never, ever part.
Aduke Gomez is currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of Art4Life – an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Health established to introduce art and the practice of art into the entire healthcare process. Her recent children’s book “Lost And Found In Lagos” – a collaboration with Biola Alabi Media was selected as one of Channels TV Book Club Top Twenty Books for 2019.