By Elisha Oluyemi
in moments of darkness, i give mind to a withered flower
and wonder why it was hidden away from
the joy of spring:
the season approaches, the greens are full of longing, but thirst is a box of chocolates.
why did a man pluck a marigold and stash it in a pot?
i see the bleak of night,
how it descends upon us like the sudden rain.
does God bare their teeth and gobble up the innocence of a kid,
or they only snatch up reality like a thick duvet and drape it over him--
is this God's way of making reality dawn on him?
is this their way of enlightening this dust instead of steering him towards the forbidden tree?
i have seen the biggest wonder:
how the darkness of the womb doesn't restrain the blind baby from coming into our world.
the mother growls; the baby finds its path—the blind walking without a stick.
God's creations—full of contrasting conjunctions. all the buts and yets and howevers, broken sentences--
and in Yoruba, shades of but are called ṣugbọn, metaphors for bad luck,
blatant echoes of darkness.
But I've just realised:
in this poem, not all buts lead us down the abyss.
no light at the end of the tunnel, but the beacon may appear when you reach the end… the night is a tunnel—until golden rays line the skies.
Elisha Oluyemi won the 2022 Lagos-HCAF Writing Contest (Prose) and came 1st runner-up in both the Shuzia 2021 Short Story Contest (2nd Ed.) and the 2022 Flash Fiction Contest. In addition, he co-edited the PROFWIC Crime Fiction Anthology, Vol 1.
Elisha has his writing published/forthcoming in journals, including Mystery Tribune, Brittle Paper, Entropy, The Hooghly Review, Iris Youth Mag, Hotpot Mag, African Writer, Salamander Ink, Erato, Neurological, Kalahari, Nymphs, Shallow Tales Review, Sledgehammer, Arts Lounge, and elsewhere. He writes in the psychological and literary genres.