July 3, 2018by Dami Ajayi

Tuesday Poem by Theresa Lola

We Rebuke This Bad Death

Dami is dead.
A rope was found clinging to his neck.
We think it was a halo failed by gravity.

Is he from our tribe?
Our language has no translation for ‘suicide’.
Someone in the village must have orchestrated voodoo.

Should we drench our bodies with anointing oil
so when the spirit of death tries to enter
it will drown like Egyptians in the Red Sea.

During interrogation, his wife swears her hands are clean,
claims he had been having money issues.
She uses the word ‘depression’ and our breaths sink.

The Yoruba proverb goes “Kì í sunkún a-nìkàn-para- è”.
A man who leaves his children to inherit disgrace
does not deserve weeping.

Should he have waited till old age to die a good death?
His mother named him Oluwadamisi; God spares me.
How could he rebuke his own name?

A mother does not bury a child she raised
without feeling like she is disturbing the ground
with her failure.

Who is paying for the funeral?
Should we bury him with the rope around his neck
and hope it turns into a halo?

  • THIS IS EVERYTHING. Thank you for speaking up about mental health in African communities and the shame of it as well.

    Rose / 6:10 am / Reply