by Joseph Ushie
I never knew you while you danced and breathed
But the innocence and charm on your undead face
In this photo tell me you’re not dead.
Earth and we’ve been jealous co-wives
Eying your frame, eying your talent, eyeing your all
And just while we feasted over having you
Mother Earth laughed us to this scorn
As your frame enriches her while we weep
We the impoverished by your parting dance steps.
I never knew you, Ify, but the seas of tears from these
Eyes and hearts for whom tragedy has become a routine
Tell who you were better than any knowing you would.
You were a dancer, we hear
You were a writer, we hear
Your were a fabled beauty, we see
Now I know you were an actress too
Given how you danced off this cruel stage
Which is itself dancing away piecemeal.
Go in peace, Ify, go in peace, girl
And meet us at the gate when we trace your step
Where roads don’t give lethal bites….
Joseph A. Ushie, has a Ph.D. (English) from the University of Ibadan, and the author of five poetry collections.