Poetry

Praise Osawaru: I Remember It Like Yesterday Because It Was

Depression
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay (modified)

I REMEMBER IT LIKE YESTERDAY BECAUSE IT WAS

i remember it like yesterday / because it was
       my therapist told me / depression is an illusion
that peels sanity off minds
       & trauma is a fictional gag around my throat
that makes silence / a song of praise
       so we tore the gag / wiped my eyes with its fiber / & burnt it
but when today came knocking / & i opened the door
       the wind slapped a different breed on my face
when i close my eyes / my mind draws bridges
       between me & yesterday’s ashes—
the darkness i burned / but still sails the wind
       & sticks to my forehead
father tells me to gather the ashes / & keep
       as a trophy on the shelf
to remind me of my battle against depression
       he says that / but i know only victors keep trophies
& i do not see smiles leaking from the edges of my mouth
       i still feel a heap of emptiness / weighing on my heart
——————

A NOTE ON THE HUMAN BODY

In the bipolar city of Benin;
one where the sun flosses at daytime
& the clouds become bansheelike next,
shuffling rain & thunder,
I ponder over which shirt looks better on me:
a laser lemon shirt or a rainbow striped shirt.
By my window, I stand topless, staring at my mirrored reflection.
Outside, the trees’ leaves flutter in the yard
& I bend to listen if the wind will whisper to me.
A moment passes by & my mind engulfs a realization.
What this body yearns for is tenderness—
to be caressed & adorned with clothes that allures,
represents the heart’s melody,
& befits one’s identity.
Hear me, do not mistake this body for a hanger,
where clothes are worn to tell
a tale of wrinkle-free.
——————

CONVERSATION WITH AUNT IMADE ABOUT LEAVING HOME

why do you want to leave your home?
home is what people call a place, so they feel comfortable
shedding their bodies at night & wearing it back at daytime.
my home is a place where the air is so perverse,
if inhaled, it corrupts one’s soul.
i am just a boy who’s tired of holding his breath.
i’m tired of my body being an empty room
bleeding echoes of my silence.
i’m tired of chasing after my shadow
in the corners of my mind.
home is not home, if it’s a dry well
& i still feel like i am drowning.
home is not home, if my sanity hides under the bed
where the monsters are supposed to sleep.
i am just a boy who’s tired of offering silent prayers
when my subconscious does not say amen.
my home is a place shackling my soul
& all i want is to break free,
take a stroll & forget my way back.
——————
Poems © Praise Osawaru
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay (modified)

About the author

Praise Osawaru

Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer, poet, content developer & entrepreneur-in-training. His writings are influenced by his consciousness of mental health, his personal experiences & the desire to heal through words. His works have appeared in Black Youth, Kreative Diadem, Nantygreens, Ngiga Review, SprinNG & Writers Space Africa. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 & shortlisted for The Zi Prize 2019. His poem, 'How Last Tuesday Became Black Tuesday' won Honorable Mention in the 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. He is liberal, & enjoys reading books, listening to good music & binge-watching series on Netflix when he isn't over-worrying about University life. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise

24 Comments

Click here to post a comment