Christian Poetry: Tongues


Tongues by Rebecca Ogungbure
One day, I'll write a piece on how I have come to like the broken language of tongues

The shabalaba sounds Swahili at best, with bits of the Grammar and a Yoruba twist that's almost unnoticeable
Like a staggering man, it waltz past your vocals, leaving you lost in its drunken hangover,
Speaking slurry words that somehow keep you sober

I've heard claps that sounded like cymbals
bursting through the air as men got lost in this strange language
I watched my Man of God speak the other day
decorating each sentence with strings of exotic words he never learned
It was his pride in syllables that didn't align for me

Big boned men bend over and shake their feet
Prim proper sisters get good and loud, shouting their lungs out
This thing does things

Like a river, it flows unrestricted
Like a hungry man, it gnaws at your insides
And like a balm, its soothing is in its after effect

One day, I'll tell the story of how this language has changed my life.


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