heartstrings

my mind is a hollow mess of a thousand echoes
bouncing off the walls of my heart
they whisper to me in loud voices
preying on labile feelings and desires

my gaze rests upon glitters and sparkles
with eyes like lust, I stare
coveting the things I cannot have
and the days long gone

this flesh made from clay
craves to be admired and adorned
it needs trophies and applause
it delights in vain glory

lIke the strings of a newly wound guitar
you pluck gently yet firmly
producing a melody so perfect it hurts
you hold out Your hand for a dance
my feet stay glued, tired from the journey of mistakes past

your eyes search mine gently,
I hear the words Your mouth need not speak,
“trust, put your hand in Mine, dance”
I see your eyes swim with tears
your hand is still held out
your body poised to dance with me

you strip me away gently
with hands like love
removing the debris upon my spirit
breathing me to life
you quiet my will firmly
with words like fire
setting me ablaze
breaking me to stillness

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Black Roses

black

In a voice dripping with so much empathy it was disgusting, they doled out rehearsed lines, a million times retold. “We are truly sorry madam, we did our best to save her”. Those were not the words i was expecting to hear, this was not a possible scenario. I was supposed to become her mother today, now I’m not sure who I am. “Oko  yin nko“, the nurse was asking me where Ade was, like I was supposed to know. Knowing his whereabouts was not my problem. It was his mother’s. My mind, traitor that it is, remembers. it remembers exactly why this was not supposed to happen.

…………..
“Mum, I’m pregnant”. I blurted out the truth I had known for weeks, as her eyes travelled from her pot to my eyes, I knew she had already figured it out. “Whose is it?”, she asked, “is it that stupid boyfriend of yours?” her voice heavy with disappointment and dangerously veiled anger. She stirred the stew with so calmly that I thought she was going to pour it all over me. She proceeded to tell me what I already knew, she expected more, with eyes glistening with tears, she told me my options, the ones she was willing to give me. “Tokunbo, listen to me very carefully, you can either get an abortion(which is illegal in my country) or you can marry him. If you’re old enough to have a baby, you’re ready for marriage.” Then the real speech began, how she a single mother struggled to put me through school when my father(whom I had never met) left. Then the tears began while I watched, dry eyed.
Two weeks later, mummy Tokunbo dragged me to my future in-laws house to explain how their son and I were stupid enough to put a fetus in my body. His parents were pastors, they had a reputation to uphold. It was decided, we would get married. I was a fresh graduate, he had just finished his service year. He said he loved me, that was before this alien invaded my body, now he looks at me with contempt. I barely remember if the sex was good now, apparently condoms are no guarantee.
His parents would pay for the wedding. Mama Tokunbo had no husband, I was her mistake too. I wish I could tell you that it was perfect, that I wore a lovely white dress, that my father walked me down the aisle. I wish Ade looked at me like I was the only virgin in the room, but that would be a sweet delusion.
I had a dress, it was yellow and it was ugly. I walked down the aisle alone. Their stares were like daggers, they wondered how I could break my poor mother’s heart after all she did to support me Their thoughts ended with ‘like mother, like daughter’, I’m sure. Halfway down, it chose that epic moment to kick.
Ade could barely look at me, He blamed me for being the irresponsible womb that chose to carry his alien. At least, he showed up, albeit unshaven, dishelved, and hung over. What is left of what is right for us is this façade of a marriage built on guilt, and a never-ending blame game.
In my mind’s eye, I tried to imagine what our lives together would be like. Would he become an alcoholic? Would he give up on us? Would he love it? Would he be the father it needed? What would become of it? Could I love it? Would it repeat my mistakes?
I slowly walked down the aisle to my new life, a spineless bag of fears and doubts. The deep baritone voice of the pastor told me that I had reached the altar and it cut into my thoughts unapologetically as he asked, “do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?”, with such expectation. My mother’s eyes told me what I must say. I wondered if she would live with him and cook his meals. I allowed myself that playful thought before I heard myself say ‘yes’, when I wanted to scream ‘no’ from the rooftops.

………….
The tears would never be enough, I held her for all of five seconds before she turned blue and stopped breathing. I was supposed to be a mother, she was supposed to make him smile at me again. My heart is ice cold, barely beating beneath my chest, if I could go back…

END

Author’s note: This is based on a true story. There is nothing new under the sun, but a story though a thousand times retold should never lose its ability to stir our hearts.
Olamide

The Rising

I see oil
Trickling down
Like droplets of rain
In a storm a-rising

I see Him- Potter
Molding the clay to His will
Drawing the hearts of fathers to himself
Finding the lost and healing the broken

I see fire
Spreading relentlessly
Through the hearts of men
Like dry leaves in harmattan

I see the eyes of sons light up with knowledge
As the daughters worship recklessly
I hear Angels sing in adoration
As grace flows from the Mercy Seat

I see Jesus rise with healing in His wings
As the earth and heavens fold
Sin and Death cower in defeat
As soldiers are called into battle

I see the waves crash
As the deafening roar of His voice
Thunders through the air
Like the sound of many waters

Broken…the finale.

Writing this story has been a great learning experience for me and I wish that it didn’t have to end so soon. Enjoy!

Free as a bird,
To do as I please,
To soar like the eagle,
To overcome obstacles,
To be rid of the chains that hold me captive,
I long for freedom.

I buried Zee today, with Bernice by my side. She was my sister and my best friend for many years, and the only family that I had left. I’m grateful to Yahweh for the support of the man I had slowly begun to love who has made this loss so much easier to bear. The day Zee and I discovered this town seems like another time, another decade, a different age.


 

Simeon was going to let me go, I had cried out to Yahweh for help in my hunger and desperation for freedom. He had found love he said in the arms of another, one named Absa, a man he said. My hand-maiden would be the cover for his taste for unspeakable things never before heard of in Canaan but I could not let that happen so I whispered it into the ears of the land’s own gossipmonger. Jacob disowned him and Leah cursed him, all of Israel had something else to talk about now that my story had lost its flavour. I still thirsted for his blood even after my release from the farce that was our four month old marriage.
Everyone dies, I just sped things up a little for my husband, one as enraged and impulsive as he was deserved a death like no other, the kind that would give my daughter nightmares if she knew what I had done to her ‘uncle Simeon’.There was a time when I thought that life was easy, that I would be little Dinah forever, oh how I wish it were possible to turn back the hands of time and be her again.

Something was pulling me under, stealing my breath away I as I kept screaming for Yahweh to help me until my screams were drowned out to a feeble gasp for breath. I woke up in a cold sweat like I had been doing every night since I found that I was pregnant. I was the ex-wife of my dead brother, put in the family way by my dead rapist and disowned by my now dead Father.The judge of Israel had put a price on my head, so here I was on foot running for my life with my hand-maiden Zee who diagnosed my recent early morning illness as the first sign of an unwanted pregnancy.
We were living on fruits and the smoked remains of dead animals hunted by Zee and every pool of water in the never-ending forest was a cause for celebration. We slept on the bed provided very generously by the floor of the forest and the fire we made around us kept the wolves away but not the tiny little ants and bloodsucking mosquitoes.
Our journey lasted three whole months and we barely survived but we made it to the little town of Uz which we would make our new home, for my time to nest had come, even as I waited the birth of the creature whom I was sure to hate.

The people of Uz welcomed us with open arms, they were an hospitable people who served the Lord God of Israel. They knew us not, yet they offered us kindness like I have never before experienced even among my people. A man called Job helped us the most, he gathered all the young men in the land and asked them to build us a house. I was humbled in my spirit and the ice around my heart began to melt even as I begun to experience Yahweh’s love all over again.
My daughter came that winter, with Zee by my side, teaching and helping me to bring forth as so many women before me had, the pain was unbearable and is one that I never want to experience again, every push reminded me of the abomination that resulted in her formation and I relived every unholy thrust that Shechem had made inside of me.
I thought I would hate her but the minute I saw her, I knew she was the answer to a prayer that I didn’t even think He had heard. She was a perfect miracle and the good that came out of a bad situation and so I named her Bernice, ‘the one that brings victory’.

Someday, she would sit at my feet as I teach her the way of the Lord, and she would serve Yahweh with all her heart. I had so many dreams for her, and they would come true, this time they would.

The End.

As all great writers do, I’ll site my references for this story.
The Holy Bible; Gen 34
http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/dinah-midrash-and-aggadah
http://www.moshereiss.org/articles/12_family.htm