Four Poems|Grace Alioke


A Plea For Gratitude’s Face


how would my lips roll out all the

gratitude growing wings in her garden, or


how would she sprinkle all the affection

as lilies on your mild face, fair one?  for


you… you, Buttercup, are the breeze

that warms my face whenever fear’s fierce


breath tries to shrink me. your fragrance alone

flutter all the butterflies in my belly till my skin


shoots praises to the sky. it’s your windless waves

that dragged me from inferiority’s cage & set me on


freedom’s lane. and when i run… when insecurity strengthens

my legs, i find myself in your embrace again, cuddling


my braids and placing my feet on the lane, and i harvest happiness

like autumn’s trees. this poem is to roll out a freckle of the gratitude


growing wings in my lips.


Mother carries the cross (every day)


Mother carries the cross

like Jesus Christ ’cause


the wandering wind has

blown Father to another woman’s laps. Mother

carries it with her skinning hands & harvests her


tears with her hands when her remains are breaking like the beak of a red-haired hen, & tugs along again. Sometimes,


she hides her tears behind her wrapper so that I won’t see the shadow of grief. But I see. I see him. I swear, I’ve seen his fierce face


but build silence into a skyscraper. Or what will we do to an iron breaking from the layers of family’s freight?


Though the cross is fuming formaldehyde from her pores

she still carries it & looks to the sky for the Simon.


Letter From Your Mother



if the whirling wind roars and you shiver and

fall like a bird soaked in blood

if she blows ashes to your soul that only ode

fall from your lips

if she lunge & your fears & tears flow as

atlantic ocean

please, don’t let regrets be the

anesthesia for your skin

don’t crash hope into the concrete

for you have the might to rise again.


Question 103


she’s metamorphosing from a staled snail

to an exhausting moth, clutched to the window

& asking the wind when the streets would be free from

the indefinite imprisonment; when the day wouldn’t be measured

by the number of bodies baptized into ashes by the virus but the tick

tock; when she wouldn’t sniff the formaldehyde singing in her room, & grief

creeping into her fingers, ’cause the lockdown is scraping his touch from her dreams

& the quarantine is weaving him into distinct ant,  but silence keeps hanging in her hollow head.


Photo by Andrew Dunstan on Unsplash


Grace Alioke is a Nigerian writer, poet, speaker, and a student of University of Benin. She documents her thoughts with the hope of correcting injustices.  When she is not writing, reading, helping young writers with their crafts, she should be talking about everything that freaks her out.
Her works have been published in Praxis magazine, Analogies & Allegories, Havilah Woman, Serotonin, Havenshores, Artmosterrific, ‘Happiness, A Crazy Choice’ anthology, and forthcoming in others. She won the 2020 TYWA Short Story contest and she is an ambassador of The GoodFelo.
Find her on social media @ Grace Alioke.



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