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A NIGHT WALK IN A GRAVEYARD – A POEM BY ESTHER SHEDRACH

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A NIGHT WALK IN A GRAVEYARD

It’s been seven years ever since I lost my dad, and those years I must say was the worst years of my life. My dad was the first and last companion I had, yes! he’s my last companion for I’m now a loner.

He was my first fan and audience, he reads my stories, grins at some and commends my little effort. That was at the age of 12.

He bought me books and urged me to read them and become better than the authors.

Chimamanda Adichie was his favourite writer who he asked me to imitate but I’m not sure if I’m still in that track. He was a huge encouragement to me.

On that gloomy day, I wrote about a ghost who hunts genuine people because he was killed by his sincerity. And I think the character in my story killed my dad.

He died while returning goods stolen by his colleagues at his workplace, the witness said he became giddy when he alighted from the tricycle and then a strange force pushed him and fell on his face. He died with blood streaming down his eyes.

That ghost killed my dad.

Yes, I knew. I knew because his fingers were broken and his palms turned black just like the victims in my story.

Ever since I lost my dad, I’ve written thousands of letters to him asking him if good deeds should end. I asked him if I should stop writing lest I be hunted by another character.

I wrote each day repeating same questions and getting no reply. I asked him to send someone that’d commend my skills and grin at the funny ones.

I felt pain in my heart, I dread darkness, the winds and the future before me. I dreaded the colour red because of the blood I saw down his cheeks. I shudder at the sight of my own shadow, I suffered hysteria. I was told to burn my letters in his grave and watch the wind carry their ashes to him so as to get a reply.

I’ve set ablaze a thousand letters and yet I received no answer. Not even a “hi”. I’ve planted roses round his grave this seven years yet no reply came.

So, last night I visited as usual, read my letter, set it ablaze, planted a new rose and then turned to leave. Just then, a glimpse of light shone around me and behold it was him whom my heart longs for.

He stood before me wearing a broad smile, he waved me a good bye saying nothing. I smelt joy again for that was all I needed to grin and bear it all.

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