Friday 6th December 2013,
I lay in my bed like a log of wood,
And stared into my phone screen without seeing anything.
I had enough airtime to burn,
Yet fewer people to talk to,
I could’ve called dad to joke as usual,
But joke, hmm, that was a no go area,
Because he was home,
Sitting beside you and using,
A serrated old hand fan,
To blow natural air to you,
Or singing some melancholy song,
To serenade you to your final home,
Your final home…
I could’ve called my aunt too,
But she, loving you like no one else,
And being your only daughter,
Was on her way to the village,
To meet you and give some love,
As she always did.
In anger, I shut down my Nokia phone,
You may know that phone, you should,
The one I used to call my youngest uncle, your youngest son,
Who seemed, in a long time, to have strayed,
Like bullets from the barrels of some drunken policemen,
So you talked to him, to come home for some important purposes.
The poor boy, he didn’t even come home, or did he?
Until, probably, your final journey into the mother earth.
I always prayed,
That your home-call, If it was time,
Should be quick and easy.
Aunt had told me how grave your sickness was,
How you had been saying things. Things.
Things that had no meaning to the mortals,
Perhaps you had been seeing the other worlds,
Perhaps you had been talking to the angels,
Perhaps your spiritual driver was wasting your time,
And making you suffer.
That I least wanted,
Not for someone like you,
Someone whose love was felt,
Like the cold harmattan breeze of December,
Tearing into the lung, into the heart,
Making us shake and wear thick cloth.
Such was your love.
Still in bed, my door opened without knock.
Amidst my tiredness,
I turned my head to see who it was,
It was my younger cousin,
He came in and said,
“Grandpa is dead”
That was sad news, was it?
I opened my mouth,
Unable to say anything,
And heaved a deep sigh,
I am going to miss the moments we had together,
And so many things about you.
Can you remember some three months ago?
When I came home,
You said if you died then,
It wasn’t a sorrowful one,
You believed you had come and conquered,
You believed you were fulfilled.
When I was very much younger,
You told me about the civil war,
That one day, on your farmland,
Bending over an old cutlass,
And tilling a piece of land for planting,
Some Nigerian soldiers came around,
And asked you for some water,
Then you willingly supplied it,
But I wrote this, to tell the world,
That I had a grandpa, who was worth having,
So your death, coming like an inevitable groom,
For his bride,
Took you away from earth’s many troubles,
So we couldn’t be sad,
Because we are sure,
That you are at home,
And by the silent streams of heaven,
In a vast garden of awesome flowers,
There a hammock of comfort,
Bears you up, to a space of comfort,
Please, Baba Morenikeji Elijah Adekanmi,
Rest in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I am your grandson,
Adekanmi Abiodun Solomon Alao.
Friday 6th December 2013,