A poetically-written prose on the ritual which precedes the healing of a broken heart
Ijachi, I am the tree that died in the seedlings you refused to tend. I am a memory you cannot drown in a keg of palm-wine, for like a feather, I will float upon the rivers of your thoughts till you recall and regret the night when you abandoned a broken flute at the village square, for I am that flute and wholeness found me in the hands of a drummer boy who lost his drumsticks.
They say the pen is the only wingless hen which shields chicks from preys, but your lines were baits on the hook of heartbreak. It was from you that I saw that love could be conceived by virgin words, delivered in a manger of lines, wrapped away in swaddling clothes of stanzas in a place where muzzled emotions bleat noiselessly in furred imageries and poetic devices. Ijachi, all there was to your love was poetry!
So each time a man strolls into my daughter’s mind, turns his heart into a scroll and writes a verse with his tongue, I take her by the hand and lead her to the small room on the tip of my tongue. There I melt into a calabash of soliloquy:
“Child, the current of the heart is not measured in amps, maybe in pain, too vast to be calibrated. Every wrong I did is a wrung on the ladder of my counsels. If you climb them, you will not elope with the moon like I did, only to see the sun crawl out of the clouds with all the brightness I’ve always wanted. I realized too late that darkness is an egg, when placed in the incubator of patience, hatches into a bright light.”
Ijachi, come to the village square tonight and watch me dance naked and unashamed of the bliss which became blisters, for they have become painless scars. Come, Ijachi, come and nod your head to the music of my waist-beads for this is the ritual a woman must perform to escape being burnt by the smokeless fire in her nostrils.
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We are proud to announce ‘The Great Indian Tee and Snakes’ by Kritika Pandey as the Overall Winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. #CWprize
Read about Kritika and her story here: http://www.commonwealthwriters.org/cssp__2020