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Poetry: Agbalala, & How Was It You Died?

Poetry: Agbalala, & How Was It You Died?


By Prosper Ifeanyi


Noble enough, I wish
to be, when I desert you.
Paean of mirth, clobbering
the eardrums of those
who wish to see us soar.
In one soul, two bodies unite.
So also in one voice, two
secrets divulge.
Paraffin oil we drank; matches
sticks we struck.
Agbalala remembers. He remembers
all his children by their names.
For when he calls,
they all fret. They have
gone out to play for too long,
that home, they forget.
They say Agbalala isn’t loving.
They claim he doesn’t call them
twice at the same spot.
Never, have they rightly
been so wrong.
For Agbalala
calls, and only those who wish
to see us remain as one
will definitely hear the telegraphing.

Agbalala: The Ukwuani name for “thunder.”


Crossing the path,
tilting the raft.
Cozy warm hands,
let them wrap.
Stories yet untold.
Many a time we died,
even before we actually died.
…died beyond river Styx,
and none saw the canoe
drift with our passions, slowly.
They went; they never
came back.
How was it you died, friend?
Where you cremated as I?
Was it painfully excruciating?
I wanted to tell you
how it was I died, but death
promised me nothing.
Did you see the milky way
when coming by air?
I see you are wet,
or did you come by water
from Oyese?
Tell me how it was you
died. Amulets of chants
have worn to wrestle with the
spirits, to seek an
audience with you and none.
How was it you felt when
you lost the ones?

Oyese: A cold ancestral river worshipped in the Deltan Ukwuani lore.

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Prosper Ifeanyi is a writer and student from Delta State University, Abraka. He is the founder of OneBlackBoyLikeThat Review, a blog which curates books, works of art and literary oeuvres from all over Africa.

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