By Emmanuel G. Freeman
The shrieking sounds of breaks from old rugged cars.
The sound of bullets from afar.
The air reeking the smell of unwashed and sweaty bodies.
The obnoxious screams of hungry babies and toddlers.
The cries of women and children
It was a war zone.
Momma walked at a glaciating paste.
She was full
She was pregnant
Her water had just broken. It was her fourth child.
Momma, not sure what gender I was, said: “The baby is coming!”
Hysteria was everywhere. The nearest hospital about 2.5 miles away. She panicked.
My father, flustered, yet keeping his cool, scampered in search of a taxi.
He returned minutes later with a rugged, yet promising car.
With Momma sedated, off they went.
Snail-pace traffic disrupted the flow of movement
With the sun at its zenith, it was hot.
Copious amounts of perspiration leaking from her body.
She was uncomfortable. It was obvious, anyone could tell.
Momma sighs, and pushes. “It’s coming,” she said.
My father rushes closer, not sure what to do.
He flays his t-shirt from his sweat-drenched body.
Implicitly becoming an instant midwife, he was frightened
The car still moving…The driver screams out from the window to lurking nurses.
“A lady is in my car. She is pregnant! She might be in labor. Hurry!”
Yet another giant push; I came into this world.
In my father’s crimson red t-shirt.
In a dilapidated car. Amid the bloody war, poverty, love, and of course the scorching heat of West Africa.
Abeodu! They named me before my parents even said a word.
A child born in a CAR!