May 8, 2018by Dami Ajayi

Tuesday Poem by Tunji Olalere

ABOSEDE

Then the women began to cry
under the gaunt almond tree
your things were gathered afoot
like luggage awaiting the voyager.

They talked about never seeing you again
about being left in the stealth of dawn.
How you did not count out loud
or say it was your last breaths.

But you were there, on the couch,
A hieroglyph of death’s gloating hand
hurling breath after rolling breath
over the knells of cannon-ball missives.

Then the women began to cry
Something about death being swift,
they sang about masks that chase
mortal feet on Time’s tracks.

Mothers who know the sighs
that follow a trail of blood
must now confront the silence
within the wrapper’s knotted ears.

When we got to the morgue
to the matter of iced smiles
and the alchemy of fixed grimaces,
the women began to jeer.

They laughed at death’s crooked nose
mocked his limp and lisp,
they sang about the other day
when he couldn’t rid himself of flies

And as we signed the mortician’s register
they wiped their cheeks and said,
She was the week’s guest,
let the week see her off now.