March 19, 2019by Dami Ajayi

Tuesday Poem by Dami Ajayi

BIRTHDAY ELEGY

(For the ET 302 157 & other victims)

1.
& what poem shall we give
to comfort the girl by the windowsill
awaiting her father’s impossible return?

What poetry shall reinstate the
tentative smile of a husband
that becomes his final?

When ephemeral farewells acquire permanence,
poets must shut up
& commit to silence.

2.
But silence is a treacherous thing,
even if words fail.
Silence is duplicitous, without presence.
Silence is being complicit,
resigned to fate as a deckhand.
Silence is too fatal an act
for a poet to commit.

3.
A plane stumbled & fell at Bishoftu
on my 33rd birthday.
Bodies, blood and blurry memories
redacted the felicity of vain numbering
& here I lie wounded by grief,
contemplating my humanity in silence.

4.
Emmanuel says 33 is good age to go
or dare to dream.

I acquiesce,
but I ask if dying is for the dead
as it is for the living.

Then I dare to dream…