I miss Madam Cordy


Photo: The local Isi-ewu delicacy.

I miss Madam Cordy

By Andrew Agbese

The aroma of curry has since evaporated,
Scents of utazi defestrenated,
Jos has been demystified.
No longer the alluring smell of ugba,
or Maggie cubes that invade our nostrils.

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In fleeting evanescence,
We’re no longer at ease,
West of Mines
Has lost its mind
Those that throng the suburb,
In search of Isi-ewu,
or its younger brother,
Have no where to go,
The uterine siblings have departed Jos,
the day Madam Cordy left.

When the temperature cools,
And we seek to be warmed
With something cooked
off we went
To cool off
At Madam Cordy.

It used to be a clinic
Treating those with cold,
catarrh and cough,
effects of the freeze,
of that mining city of old,
known for peace and tourism.

Like an apothecary’s shrine,
Hot pots of marinated beef,
Congealed in leather hide
Soused in red oil,
Steaming with hisses of smoke
With the contents arrogantly overshooting the pots.

Rings of onion as diadem,
Sitting on strands of veggies at the top,
bitter leaves contrasting,
yet accentuating,
the sweetness of the serve,
stare invitingly at us

Now I can’t access the friendly ambiance,
The stratosphere of abundance,
Of ngwóngwó,
Cow leg pepper soup,
even bokotó
that gives me joy,
even roasted fish cannot replace.

I miss the isi-ewu,
I miss the nkwobi,
I miss the cow tail,
Fresh fish,
I miss Madam Cordy.

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