“I will see you when I return”, I said
But the reply came as an empty sound
Followed by a reverberating crash
And simultaneous burst of love-laden eyes
Caked over a closed retina of time and reminiscences,
Congealed bonds that neither bleed nor budge
Baked over thirty-two fleeting years in a familial furnace.
Six green bottles on the village wall
One fell to the horror of a purblind audience
Sending shreds of tears through transatlantic waves
Mouths ripped by ripples of shock
As phones ululated in mournful ring back tunes
Disbelief became the punctuation for grieving souls
But the rainbow was already sealed in an obdurate cask.
Raw hearts flickered and shivered
In muted sopranos and suppressed throes
Rising to a crescendo of idiomatic anguish
As the creator chose to wield his pleasure wand
On the eve of an otherwise joyful birth.
Life began before we saw it emerge
A fair maiden in head-turning pageant strides
when we met her with a full possessive embrace.
Nobody warned us that our hold was too snug
We wouldn’t have heeded anyway
And together, we journeyed through laughter and storms
There is no earthly cure for this riling wound
Tears are too slippery for any tangible grip.
No support holds true for our flailing souls
Words fall flat, too dry and blunt,
Drained to ashes of their ephemeral meanings.
Prayers have become snails, crawling to heaven.
Will they return to us in time with a consoling riposte?
This loss is fine sand on the clean Gambian beach
No matter how boxy your shoes are
Deep inside the craters between your soul’s toes.
Far away on a smothering homeland bed
A bright star had dropped from an impossible height
Piercing the earth with its sharp, stringent, edges
Sending particles flying into the eyes of all
Who watched its illumination.
We could only look on in helplessness
The ship already sailed with our prized possession.
Larceny! We cried on top of our frail lungs
Then we were told she wasn’t ours to keep
We can only hold on to memories now;
Those are safely stashed away
Where no bandit can snatch them.
Poetry will not heal us of this loss
Tomorrow will surely be celebrated in a wan frock
Till we meet again on the blue skies of dreams
One-sixth of me died with Mayowa in May.
Ọláìtán Máyọ̀wá Adéníran (nee Ọlátúbọ̀sún) is my only younger sister.