Mother of Ikemefuna - L.S. Mensah

Some days all I startle are brush tailed
Porcupines, gathering twigs for leaf
Supper. They offer to de-quill my grief
But I decline, walk on, search on.

The forest brims with emptiness
Who knows what the dead must
Think of me, staining their eternity
With my tear-logged pain?

Eternity; that cold finality, thought
To stretch the length of the after-life,
To regurgitate the wounding tear,
To stare the stark horizon in the face,

Where a boy holds his head
In an alien wood, on an alien
Crossroad, his blood tock-ticking
To the old chronometer of revenge.

I have been scanning the Sphinx'
Face since; yet refuse to answer
Her perpendicular riddle, however
She phrases this logic of my existence.

I carry an ossuary inside of me,
When I move, it clatters
With my boy's ghost bones.
Once, I called it a womb.

He perished in the year of locusts,
Caught unawares in his place of rest.
Oh look for a headless ghost with a pot shard
Ikemefuna was my boy's name.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My, o my, one of my all-time favorite poets has released another classic. I have to come back with a detailed response. This is impeccable poetry! Achebe should be proud.