The Day In-Between


Early hours of dawn
Stood up to have a dump
Then I got a call
From mon amour
Who told me you’re gone
“He’s gone?”
“Yes, he’s gone”
“But… How come?’
Unsure of my words
Tears falling freely on my shawl
“You were with him last dusk”
“Yes… I was, till 8’o clock”
I could feel his voice in shock
Then I pleaded once more
To be told it’s all false
“I wish it was false”
Was his response
“We would see him no more”


Before the early hours of dawn
Before I stood up to have a dump
Before I got a call from mon amour
I had a thought a day before
To remember a great friend, Binuyo
Who’s long gone; 15 august
Till I got the call; 14 august
That Emma is gone
13 august!
So I thought
“What’s going on…
I am to remember a friend tomorrow
And now I’m told today that I lost a friend yesterday”

I remember that day, I was in camp
I saw the information online
There was an accident
And I prayed in my heart
That it would not be serious
I made a call to know how come
I was assured all was well
So I went to get my dinner
Leaving my cellphone behind
All for me to come back
Check my phone and saw
‘We lost Binuyo”


Immediately I remembered your voice
Telling me I would be posted to Maiduguri
For my service
I remembered the shirt you gave to me
The first day you wore it
And I said I liked it
Never knew you took it serious
Till I saw you before me
Outstretched hand with it
I could not pay my last homage
To express my regret
Of not appreciating you
For what you’re worth
What shall I say…


So there would be no
‘I’m going to see Emma in Russo’
There would be no
‘We are playing game’
‘Is Emma o…’
On and on
You were a loyal friend
I knew you from a distant
Manuel Louis
But I learnt what loyalty was all about
What more shall I say…
I could not buy a rose too
In appreciation
In respect of whom you were
In regret of having little memories
And here we are…


So you two left
A day in between
Duo years apart
So quick; so early
Like a flash of lightning
In the cloudy sky
As the quick rushing erosion
Probably out of your will
Leaving the living behind
With the lamentations
Of great minds
Who are forever gone….



Odunayo Celestina inks

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