Laitanxxby Yemi Adésànyà

“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

It permeates

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.

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