22 3 / 2013

After a war life catches
desperately at passing
hints of normalcy like
vines entwining a hollow
twig; its famished roots
close on rubble and every
piece of broken glass.
Irritations we used
to curse return to joyous
tables like prodigals home
from the city… . The meter man
serving my maiden bill brought
a friendly face to my circle
of sullen strangers and me
smiling gratefully
to the door.
After a war
we clutch at wateryscum pulsating on listless
eddies of our spent
deluge… . Convalescent
dancers rising too soon
to rejoin their circle dance
our powerless feet intent
as before but no longer
adept contrive only
half-remembered
eccentric steps.
After years
of pressing death
and dizzy last-hour reprieves
we’re glad to dump our fears
and our perilous gains together
in one shallow grave and flee
the same rueful way we came
straight home to haunted revelry

- Chinua Achebe

RIP Chinua Achebe, pioneering author and activist, who died today at 82.

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