Wrickken - L.S. Mensah

Disinherited of moisture,
Bespoke and befitting
For the dispossessed,
Dear spirit-child-of-sand!

Who was it carved up the world’s winds,
Assigned you to me, as if to inject my parts,
With ampoules of your absent wetness?
Who was it bequeathed you this loom,
To weave a million ballads of dryness?

Some deficiency must bend your needle
Northeast; where, knuckled into the year’s
Headwinds, gargoyles greet your passing.
Great-great-godfather-of-the-sahel, yours,
Is a problem with rickets.

Long ago astrologers of meteorology,
Foretold the coming of a Sand Messiah,
Downwind of the wind gradient,
A desert dervish, come to tap
Dance with the wind.

And for this I waited; watching
The dandruff moult in the sun-brushed
Twigs of women’s braids.
I bore witness, as you, genuflecting,
Ripped humidity from its hinge.

And what did I gain but a squint,
Sat squat on the trig point of my vision?
Still, even devoid of moisture, you carry
Cadences of water in your double helix.
Or dare I say helices? And dare I say,

One day, just like that, at the break
Of the libationer's prayer
Whatever phlegm of water you gorged;
Would rise, to reign, then fall,
As nayabinghi rain:

De dum.
De dum.
De dum.
De dum.
De dum.

So sleep well. You, on your vowelled
Pillows. I too, shall snore well.
A parting note:
If we should meet in the damp dew, you’ll know,
By the way my skin crackles with drought-static.

"Wrickken" is the fifth of our series of poems on the Harmattan. New entries will be posted each week, and collected here.
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