Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Widow's Tears*





She weeps the loss, weeps the waiting trouble
Of contested farmlands and shrinking hellos
In-laws becoming outlaws, shifting landmarks
Fears of tied hands and buried futures of her growing children

She weeps.

The owl knows her secrets,
Her last bath in the night-over ashes
Endless visits to her husband’s last words
The owl knows the taste of her tears

Nwaanyi mkpe*, dark thoughts
As she keeps custom
Sitting on the edge of knowledge
About his whereabouts

Tears and more tears
As the fears
Build up in her heart
About bouts in bracketed sympathies

She remembers, she forgets
She remembers to forget
To earn a widow’s might to fight
With her knuckles talking
To the land that holds his bones

She weeps her words,
Wet stories and damp questions
Ije di**, has it led her
To the stream & brought her back
Without her waterpot?
-- Obododimma Oha
*Previously published in Agenda, Issue 72, 2007.