It was a gift
Given on his 14th birthday
It was an era when the tongue
Got used to curving in and out
Making the tide as white as table-salt
Still he was scared to use the blade of a sword
Kaduwa in his native tongue –
Petrified of being another castaway
In the cruel poetic seas
But one day, seemingly at crossroads
He unwrapped the gift – 18 years after
As the ribbon and wrapping paper
Blew like the wind to the ridges
Of his thorny fingers
As his fingerprints casually walked on
On sandpaper shores

While cider waves crashed in
As effervescent and blue
As fermenting ink….