When your name pops up on my phone,
I see a tyrant
building clusters
of calamities in an
innocent child,
trying to convince her mother it’s just a cyst.

I see a child
coughing every
fragment of her soul
telling her widowed mother
that it’s just a cold.

I see an oncologist reassuring a mother
all will be fine after chemo,
I see a mother selling her all
just to keep you at bay
while you lurk in her shadow
waiting for her to sell her all
just so you can strike harder.

When your name
pops up on my phone,
I see a bald child
looking in the mirror
remembering how her mother
combs her hair
and call her a queen,
remembering how happy she was
when her mother told her she’s growing breasts
because she also
can’t wait to wear
what her mother wears.

I hear the dreams of a child spluttering and splattering like a fallen mirror,
I see a girl watching her dreams diffuse into the air,
I see a girl
begging a nurse
for mercy like a zombie.

I hear you bully
a heart into silence,
I see you piercing
a girl’s skin with nails,
I see you choking a girl
with your breath!

When your name
pops up on my phone,
I hear a mother
cursing the day
she brought her child
unto this world
while she watch
the last fragment of her child’s soul
ooze out her body
as she struggled
to say the Shahada.

I hear the hearts of her friends
and enemies break
and I see tears line their eyes like rivers.

When your name
pops up on my phone,
I see a kid
who only lived to watch
her dreams burn
and her aspirations wither.

I see a mother
who only lived
for 59 years
just to watch her
daughter die.

I see you as a reaper
who reaps people
off everything
they possess
just so you can
die with them.

About the Author

Billyhadiat Taofeeqoh Adeola (Khayr Aade) is a 17-year-old girl whose poetry revolves around diverse themes and her first year into poetry writing birthed a dazzling number of poems, including “Reaper”. She is currently based in Ibadan, Nigeria.