Three Strings

Hey y’all a little back story on this piece. 

Anyone who’s met me knows I almost always have a few strings of coral beads on my right hand. For the  Non-Nigerians here, this usually indicates a royal affiliation of some sort in most of our 250+ cultures and so I keep getting asked if I am a member of a royal family.  I am, indeed, descendant from a royal family but not part of the main ruling family… kinda like a duchess or something… anyway its even less ‘royal’ when you realize that we’re like a sub-kingdom in our tribe which is ruled mainly by group decisions than by ‘kings’…. plus I live in an entirely different part of the country…..

Anyway, I like to dream of the days of kingdoms and conquests and good kicking evil’s ass every time 🙂 And I always see myself as a Queen Amina of Zaria-type character which is really why I always wear the beads – like a reminder of sorts that I can be as great as I want to be. 

Anyway this story/poem/ballad  is one of such stories I dreamt up. I hope you really enjoy it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

“Don’t forget” My father had said

“You are an envoy of the gods”

“Above it all, the common, the nouveau riche, you are the warrior princess”

My mother stood a few paces away leaning on the door opening, smiling

“It is why you are called Ask-for-they-know-all and Pride-of-the-gods”

“Never forget it”

I nodded solemnly, He told me this every day.

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

I sit at court with my father, Speaker-of-the-gods

The Traitors walk in trembling before him

To hear his decisions

I see their darting eyes, trembling hands

They have trouble breathing while he speaks

He speaks and they are all dragged out screaming

The gods have spoken

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

I am to make a household stronger on this day

The day of my two score and second year on earth

My mother wipes the lone tear on my face

“You are an envoy of the gods, The-one-who-asks,

You must not show the weakness of a faint heart”

My new king comes and takes me away

I have new lands to see, and kingdoms to rule

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

And two on my waist, my new king’s adornment

But his heart is foul, and mind decayed

His king he has removed to succeed, but he does not lead

He is nothing like my father, Speaker-of-the-gods

His people suffer and the maids, they say to me

“Daughter-of-the-speaker, help us

Your king seeks to doom us all

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

The two on my waist are gone, he is furious

My former king, but he can do me no harm

No one touches the Daughter-of-the-speaker

His kingdom suffers even more

The illness spreads taking over everything

Life and love, Day and warm are gone

And I decide it is enough

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

Today I invoke my names and ask for help

“it is why you are called Ask-for-they-know-all and Pride-of-the-gods”

“never forget it” My father-king had said

“Hear me” I call out to the beings whose ears I have

“The-one-who-asks, summons you to herself”

“This farce-king seeks destruction of all you have given me

Help me end it all, Save us all”

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

The farce-king is dead and I mourn not

His guards said he shrieked and cried like an infant at the end

My maids hid from the elements that had swirled

Today my kingdom rejoices, the evil is at the end

My father, the Speaker and my Mother, the Bridge

Have come to rejoice with me

“You did not forget who you are” they said

……………………………….

I am a princess

With three strings of coral wrapped around my wrist

The celebrations have ended, I smile, it has been a good day

Suddenly The Council approaches, the Spirit-guides of the king

The two-faced Fox, the three-tailed Lion,

The iridescent Snake, the Crow that’s partly iron

The echoing Wolf, the four-horned Bull

And the king of them all the Dragon

And this can only mean one thing,

I am Queen.

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10 Comments

  1. wow! This is quite a nice read. The fact that you have provided a background to poem makes it a bit mysterious (in a good way); the reader is left to wonder if it’s totally fictional or perhaps, these are events the writer had gone through at some point of there life. I really enjoyed the overall tone and message of this piece. It is a story of identity, rebellion (“the two on my waist are gone, he is furious…and i decide, it is enough”), growth(“And this can only mean one thing, I AM QUEEN”).

    I am sha glad you back to writing.

    And please complete the Anwuli story at some point 🙂 .

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