Goodnight, Ijeoma

“EXPLOSION rocked Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, when a car loaded with bomb device exploded at a popular shopping mall close to Barnex Junction, Wuse Central District, leaving 21 people dead.”

That was how the news reported Wednesday’s bomb blast. 21. /tuwenti whan/…ashirin da daya…iri abuo na otu…okan le ogun…21. Very easy…try it. Twenty-one dead. See?

And the ones before them…ninety-seven, 60, two hundred and thirty-four…or thirty-seven. All numbers. Just numbers.

 

Only they aren’t. They are 21 men, 21 women, 21 babies, 60 children, 234 girls…all human. Just human.

Human enough to eat, and drink, and sleep, and cry; like you. Human enough to feel their hearts thud heavily, one last time before it all turns to smoke; like you would have. Human enough to hiss very sadly and feel sorry for those that had gone before; like me. And human enough to circle their hands over their heads, snap their fingers and say “It is not my portion in Jesus name”; like us. Human enough for all of that, but now, mere numbers. All numbers. Just numbers.

 

Ijeoma is just one. Just one, one sister, one daughter, one friend, one Ijeoma. To us, one matters. One is all. One is everything. All one. Just one.

The sorrow you will read in the following lines flow raw from the heart of my pal, blackINK whose pen did the writing. Its sorrow is exactly equivalent to the sorrow felt for every one loss to the manic rampage of Boko Haram; its sorrow swells for every one person lost, every one PEOPLE. People, not numbers.

 

Goodnight Ijeoma

The sun’s gone again
Call it shame or fear
The point’s still the same
Night has yet again come to stay

The wind has left with its warmth
The night’s cold and the stars are alone…

The owl’s wet to the skin
It’s raining heavily tonight
There’s a sadness in earth and sky
There’s a shiver in the owl’s cry…

No message was left
And her goodbye was not heard
If she cried, I hope not for long

We would meet again soon
When the skies would know no night

Tho’ you left so soon
I know you are only asleep
Your dreams we shall all live on
One day we shall all meet again
To yet again part no more

Yesterday if we had known, you would have slept all day

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To Ijeoma and all the victims of the Barnex bomb blast

By blackINK

 

Shamelessly and undeservedly, I share in your sorrow, brother. And like you, I insist that she is not just a number. Goodnight, Ijeoma.

 

I am @0jukwu_martin on twitter

 

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CRIES OF THE MOON

FUll moon

At night the celestials are watching
As the sun goes down and the tides are falling
The shouting and honking subside
And the troubles of the day put aside
Slowly but surely the darkness appears
Bringing solace to some but to others fear

The night brings with it a certain chill
While all appear calm and tranquil
Alas a certain sound is again heard this time
The muffled cry of man as he witnesses crime
Watching the puddles turn crimson
And the blood-soiled earth glisten

The lady that once walked with pride
Now has tears filled in her eyes
For her pride has been taken
And she will face shame when others awaken
The vehicles are out on the street again
But their owners are not in them
The offenders drive off in the open lanes
To open-secret abodes that are their dens

The celestials see the events that happen
And provide for man a safe haven
The sad moon starts to waste
As the outlaws start in haste
They care less for the nocturnal iniquities
And summarize their nefarious activities

But all of these come at a cost
Their rewards are not at all lost
Even as they leave rubbles behind and take flight

They know the victims will never dread any like the night

EMMANUEL OKAFOR is a Nigerian poet. Follow him on twitter @chelsea_emma95