Turbulence

Nights are a journey

where beds are boats

and insomnia, waves of waters

that keep you tossing and turning

till you reach the port

— daybreak.

Circles

Life is a seeming paradox

We wake up hoping

Expectant

Yet spend the day running

from designated angels

out of fear of demons

For it is angels who fall

and become demons

Life is a vicious loop

Without a leap of faith

we run on in circles.

Under The Old Sycamore

Father left for work

Like any other day

Mother stayed bedridden

Father said mother needed to rest

Kwame sat me in his lap

Answering all the questions I had for mother

Afua soothed Abena while she cried

With a prancing Kofi strapped at her back

Mother no longer smiled

She had run out of pain to break into one

Bit she looked so peaceful

At times it appeared she was somewhere else

A place better than here

But I knew she liked us around her

Full of life, full of promise

Of flowers sprouting through briars and thorns

The way her eyes darted from face to face

That was the only time she didn’t look like grandma

On the day she went to heaven

We huddled around mother while Kwame and Afua took turns

To tell us stories from the Bible

But mother drifted in and out of sleep like always

Father didn’t come home that night

That was the last time we saw him

Mother didn’t sleep; she wouldn’t sleep; she couldn’t sleep

She may have been scared for father, for us

Father was always there through the night

He would always tell her about his day till she slept

But not today

So I crept up beside her

Told her all about the girl I liked

Father had seen her twice

She was as beautiful as mother

And as silent anytime I talked to her

I wanted to marry her

We talked throughout the night

I don’t remember when we both fell asleep

Mother slept on in the morning

She had a smile on her face 

Somehow the sun rose in the darkest storm

Her last breath, the most beautiful picture

Death was the strength of her love

We buried her body with father’s memory

Standing there, all five of us

Bonded by our brokenness

This was forevermore

Outside the shed we called home

Buried in the heart of the old Sycamore.

Wing Stubs

This was where you first bled

This was where you first cried

Where blood first mixed with water

and irons crystallized into bars

that held you caged

You who was once a bird

you who once flew farther than the clouds

Held down by regrets

and illusions of scars sticking out

from where wings used to be

You who once braved the night

and burned brighter than fireflies

clinging to memories of iron and salt

finding solace in the dark

Ashamed of the light

and afraid to trust the wind

anymore with your secrets.