As Tomorrow Unfolds
The clouds shielded territory
Sitting by the fireside
Listening to tales of Kwaku Ananse
Foretelling teetering stories
Children of the village
Gird around the fire
Become a coterie of kindred spirits
Ready to soar above
Over this blanket of apprehensive
Are witnesses; vinegary,
Rancorous watchers; as our fathers
Come home without viands, our mothers
Gaze, unwelcoming, our grandfathers
Go the way of all flesh; and there is smoke
Up in the air.
We chomp on the last sugarcanes
Our fathers brought home a fortnight ago
And throw into the smouldering fire
Their unsavory jointed fibrous stalks.
Hefty smoke of powerful mettle
Gloom the skies with a message
Ascend higher and higher; besiege
Those golden doors and diamond windows
Of giant castles.
Of resplendent palaces – built from our parents’
Our arms clutched; we make
Pacts with the ever-glowing fire:
that until the smoke returns with a message,
we shall not slumber.
I keep those late memories
In the cavernous closet
Of my brain; those
many times he died. A painful
Death. Uncle’s death was my
Last research on the thanatology
And it came to be:
the corporeal make of mankind
comes to an end; moment
body and soul are put asunder.
His last conscientious words
Too late to save his dying self
Protuberance of dancing smell
The scent of buzzing palm-wine
Revealed years of taciturn orientation
His forefinger pointed at the void,
As he vociferated:
— They put barrel in my stomach —
Then he slept. The longest sleep ever
Of his lifetime.
The birds arrived to feast
King of them all the Vulture
Scavenging over the rooftop;
Whoops of felicity, din of madness.
Memories of Uncle circle in my face.
© Geosi Gyasi