Visiting Waters by Ibukun Adeeko

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Visiting Waters

 

Because the years could not be left behind,

the boy is at the water and could not say he knows

the depth he has never waded through. He could

not say this is the science of the river, map its

course through its history of ups and downs, tell

the brackish tears from the fresh water breath,

where it eased down a slope like the ebbing

evening grace, where it bobbed over a puddle and

left behind a mind. The angst of a place being

a gush – in a lexicon, the war – chiseling off stones

from the glen’s walls, leaving behind cups of sorrows.

 

Then compass could not be of location and distance

but stories, what could not be undone like the barge

of pain one already own. Son, what brought you here

is not canoe, the father said. The cargoes of stories

steered through the contours of maps to give the world

its shape. Through the evening light, he would read

the courses on his father’s face, how they resemble

many journeys, the courses of light burning through

the nights, a world and its walls of folds, the water

hobbling on like all that slipped from him when he held

him close, the weight he could no longer feel in his hands

after the grip, what the women lived to reach, bringing

their best in their night’s saffron, their silence being

their best company, their eyes being the lamps

 

he tried to see the water with; when he stepped into

the brook, the ripples ringed moons at his prodding feet.

 

IBUKUN ADEEKO

 

Photo – Antwuan Malone

Creative works (literature, art and culture) emerging from Nigeria.

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