The Taste of Water.
2021, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Whenever I think of taste
I think of water
I think of colour
I think of the light brown glint
dancing around the ark of my Mother’s bucket.
I think of the stench biting the edges of my tongue
I think of the silky milky flow that increases the fire of my taste
“Water is colourless; Water is tasteless” my teacher sings in class with a pitchy voice that irons the thought into my mind.
But I think she is lying because my Water is different
My Water draws a small frown on my face when I drink as though it is a bitter herbal syrup
My Water comes to me with a message
Black oil. Plastic. Faeces. Dead fishes. Diseases.
My Water calls to me in nightmares
From the empty earth duct eaten by dust
My Water mourns from a weary sky
coloured by carbon clouds
Whenever I think of Water
I think of dry tomorrow
I think of taste
I think of colour.
I live in a local suburb in southeastern Nigeria, and getting water from natural sources around my vicinity is always a challenge. Even the so-called sachet water manufactured by local companies, popularly called "Pure Water," cannot be said to be really pure because it usually has taste and sometimes colour. Clean water as a resource, according to my science teacher, should be pure, tasteless, and colourless, but this is not the case in my community. Open defaecation, flooding, reckless dumping of refuse, and climate change has done a lot to pollute water sources where I live and my community. Despite all these hazards, we have done very little to check this. My poem is a reflection of what it means to have access to clean water, or whether it is even possible.