What I Mean When I Say Grief Is Also a Cloth │ Olalekan Hussein │ Poetry


When death gave my father a bitter smile in the middle of the night;
this death choked his breath and kissed his head
like a thief recites some verses before scaling a fence.

He willed to me his old damask
hung at the back of his mother’s door.

I gamboled & became a dog with two tails cavorting in the garden,
endowed with lilies & hibiscuses.

After all, father was a friend to grief,
but mama would never tell us why grief sports with people’s lives.

I asked her why papa left without cars, basketful of money,
big houses like those ones in Lekki.
or, wasn’t he hardworking like a sledgehammer breathing in the hand of a bricklayer?

She gave a weird look & told me I would fathom that when I become a bird producing nestlings.

Now, I have known the clothes we wear are also made of grief:
the food we eat are cooked in the pot of grief.
same way the water we drink is fetched from streams of grief.

But, believe me when I say grief is also a cloth that covers the holes in our bodies & strengthens our versatilities.
Even the prominent wear grief as singlet under their glittering damasks.

Olalekan Hussein is a Nigerian writer, born and raised in Lagos State, Nigeria. He develops much interest in Literature, and delves into the writing of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and other genres. 

He’s an acquisitive reader and a lover of nature and currently a student of a prestigious Arabic/Islamic institution in Lagos State (Darul Falahi).

If Olalekan is not perusing the holy Quran and other Islamic related books or scholars books, he’s definitely scribbling his pen to catalyze beautiful writings for his readers.

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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