life has many metaphors for the cloaks some of us wear on our souls…
many metaphors for evenings when a semi-corpse
walked the lighted streets
of a university campus
& no one screamed.
i know gardens do grow in graveyards
but flowers can never be a name for the grief left by the bodies that lay
six feet under.
and so i can swear. i can swear,
all around us, are countless monochrome minds posing —
like summer scarecrows —
behind colour cameras.
so we cannot see.
i can swear,
some breaths have two masks on them.
& some bodies are heavy dirges out-sung by the
opaque karaoke of a city life.
so we cannot hear.
in a shrill Lagos October night,
some people sent us a synopsis of the Holocaust;
and a wake of vultures visited a city road.
on that paved Lagos way—lightless, cameraless—
darkness allied with death,
and a night-abattoir was born.
& i remember certain boys who knelt beside their slaughtered brother
and screamed in their dialect,
“in whose hands do you leave us?
how do we survive, brotherrr?!!!”
echoes of grief ricocheted around the walls of a bereaved nation.
muzzles etched jigsaws in the retina of a democracy.
Lekki toll, death toll…
it was a shrill Lagos night.
may we never forget.
Poetry (c) Enobong Ernest Enobong
Image by Jonas Svidras from Pixabay (modified)