If you ask me how old I am,
I’ll say it depends.
If you ask Mother, she’ll say 34.
In many ways, I am 34.
My knees remind me daily.
But in other ways, I am 6.
No, it’s not the curious case of Benjamin Button.

If you ask me how old I am, I’ll say 6.
Roasting cashew nuts with Onyinye nnukwu,
Until a 505-station wagon pulled up in our home.
Daddy is back I heard them say.
I stand behind the square metallic tank watching.
So, this is him I think out aloud as he scans the area,
Perhaps he was looking for me?
Thinking, surely, I have a 4th child?
If you ask me how old I am,
I’ll say 6, waiting to be seen.


How old am I?
If you say 6, you are correct.
Reading a book whose title I no longer recall.
Come sit on my lap he urged.
With hesitation, I oblige.
Nesting into comfort, I continued to read.
This time, aloud at his request.
Cho-ris-ta I read aloud,
Like you’d say choice or cho lum ego.
His deafening laughter erupted the room.
I look up to see Mother’s sad face.
With tears in my eyes, I stood up,
Quietly walking to the room.
I wake up to hear he is gone.
As abruptly as he came,
Leaving behind an unsettling void.
How old am I?
If you say 6, you are correct.
Sitting on the balcony,
Wishing he’d never return.


  • Augustus
    Posted at 13:07h, 28 April Reply

    For some reasoning this made me sad. It reminded me of a particular time while growing up.

    • Munchy
      Posted at 16:03h, 28 April Reply

      Quite melancholic. Impressions on children can leave large prints…I remember one from my uncle…story for Another day.

      • Chizzy Nwokoye
        Posted at 19:29h, 01 May Reply

        Rightly said Muna

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:56h, 28 April Reply

      Sending you E-hugs

  • Ruth
    Posted at 13:21h, 28 April Reply


    Thought provoking too especially on how powerful and long lasting our actions or inactions around children can be.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 04:10h, 29 April Reply

      Children are sponges and they soak up a lot.

      Thank you Ruth

  • Aijay
    Posted at 14:05h, 28 April Reply

    Lasting impressions seared in memory. Is it just me that feels a stroke of melancholy.

  • Stella
    Posted at 15:30h, 28 April Reply

    Beautiful piece! Left a lump in my throat and wondering how the 6 year old navigated this pain.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 18:01h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you Stella

  • Apexy
    Posted at 16:01h, 28 April Reply

    This paints a vivid picture, as though I’m watching the scenario play out. Some parts I totally relate to.

  • Ekyhills Adindu
    Posted at 12:26h, 01 May Reply

    Chyzo!!!!! Love this. It’s sad and nostalgic like I was there.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 17:08h, 01 May Reply

      Thank you Eky

  • dnddyon
    Posted at 20:30h, 06 May Reply

    Love the poetry, but the content is sad

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 21:56h, 08 May Reply

      Thank you Dnddyon

Leave a Reply

Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.