Born in the afterlife
Alone in the grave the little girl lies still,isolated within and unable to breathe.
Her tender eyes shall never again see,
the long sharp edges of her father's whip.
Onto her grave her mother clings,
"My child is gone, when shall she return?"
Within his heart her father speaks,
"Taking her life was never my will."
Isolated now and never to be seen,
"We shall be her companions", the termites agree.
Little happy ghosts, spirits smiling with glee
the birth of her soul they have received.
Welcomed warmly in a world of bliss,
the dead child has been born anew.
Just as it was in her mother's womb,
The afterlife bore her in it's own special tube.
The labour, the bruise, the push and pulls,
now replaced by light and glow.
Her mother's soft and tender lips,
can't be found in this world of bliss.
″...AND JOY SHALL BE RECONCILED WITH OUR HEARTS”
Maybe it was his silence at the moments when we'd cried out to him for help, or the resigned expression that hopped steadily across his gaze when he'd take in the scene of our pain like a chilled cup of coffee. Whatever it was, I wanted it dead and gone.
His refusal to help, to say something, to save, had caused more grieve in our hearts than mother's frequent abuses. The tears in his eyes were never enough to end our troubles, and his permanently troubled gaze was never enough to dry our never relenting tears. Father was a weakling.
"Take this knife and stab your mother before she wakes." he had said, on a day when the desperation of a failed manhood had threatened to tear him wholely apart. "We would say it was an act of suicide. We would move to a new city. I would marry a kinder woman, I would...".
Maybe it was the gush of excitement that ran boldly through his veins, the kind of excitement that was meant to exist only within little children, or his mouth odour. Whatever it was, I wanted it dead and gone.
"Why did you kill him?" My brother would later ask, I was certain, with tears in his tender eyes and an unending stream of cataah flowing from his bruised nostrils. "You were supposed to kill mama" he would whisper a little too loudly, in my right ear, as father is being lowered into the underworld. The person next to me would hear him say this. The person next to him would hear him say this. Brother was terrible at whispering. The word would spread amidst the people Mother would hire to mourn for a man they did not know. The word would get to Mother.
Mother's greatest fear was a stained reputation. "It kills me" she had once confided in Uncle.
On the day Father would be buried, mother's reputation shall be ruined, and her greatest fear shall bring us peace. Brother and I shall smile again. Our inner quiet shall come to life, and joy shall be reconciled with our hearts.
″..AND IF HE EVER BREAKS YOUR HEART, LET HIS SOUL BE YOUR COMPENSATION”
″...I WANT TO TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY, SIR”
Chief’s lifeless body stared up at her, his eyes unblinking, his lips perfectly sealed; and in the seconds that followed her tragic observation of the man she once loved, she could swear he blinked at her, twice, in the most epic of ways. She hadn’t meant to fall in love with the old man. She hadn’t meant to be a sixteen year old entangled in a battle against her pimple infested face and a “breastless” chest. “You are just a child” Chief had said, “what do you know about love anyways?” . He laughed heartily, he had humoured her, and her confessions of love had been but a mere joke in his weary eyes.
“I want to take your breath away, Sir”. She had whispered in the most shrill of voices, her words escaping her lips as a mere gasp. He hadn’t heard her, his hearing aids were barely functional. And in the years that followed, she blamed his inability to hear as the sole cause of his death. She never spoke in figures, her father had never taught her to do so. And as the day paved way for darkness, on the darkest of nights, she took his breath away, skillfully forcing the sharpened edge of the kitchen knife into his heart.
“And if he ever breaks your heart, let his soul be your compensation”
THE FEAR OF WHO WE ARE SURPASSES THE URGE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS TO COME...
If you've not read Americanah, by Chimamanda Adichie, now is the chance to do so. The fear of who we are surpasses the urge to understand what is to come. The unanswered questions, the blank pictures, the masked faces, the meaningless words, the deepest of thoughts. This book moulds all these into a fine bundle of excitement, in the heart of it's reader.
Into this race he came forth,
that little being his mother adored.
The beauty in him no one else saw,
and her love for him would never be restored.
Into this world this being surfaced,
his countenance was without grace.
Suffering and pain shall be his fate,
and on his looks shall no one place their gaze.
Onto the Earth this child was born,
his eyes and mouth were without form.
And when the lights begin to fade,
his face we shall see no more.
Yet if there ever was a rebirth,
his tragic looks shall seize to be.