Chris Jibero

Rookie (Ugbawka)

A Widow's Trauma


The inevitable drops
Its baggage of woes
On a widow's
Bashed burning bosom
A cauldron of avalanche
To seethe
Whose chief condiments
Are spine-chilling wails
Teeth-gnashing with groans
And streaming cold tears
Mingling unhindered
With those of her issues
Notably the only sincere emotion
Exhibited in this lugubrious occasion
Where assorted deceitful dramas
Of grief
Are staged at every available space
By brash bereaved relatives
In their free-gate performances
For every commiserating guest
Who can spare them a moment
As they strive to outdo one another
In selfish expectations of better rewards
From the property of the deceased

All hell is let lose
Accusing fingers wag
Vile tongues malign
Lying mouths castigate
All publishers of evil report
Vendors of the unprintable
As she is captioned a husband killer
By the umuada
Vitriolic responsible wives
As though she is a cannibal
And an oath is required of her
To absolve herself from a verdict of guilt
Slammed on her before trial
And the oath administrator's choice wine for her
Is the bath water of the man's remains
Diluted with that used to brush his teeth
As though they desire to quench
Her thirst for men forever

Owners of the dead
Not of the living
Displaying misplaced love with affront
Placing the cart before the horse
Absconders from care
In the time of need of a bed-ridden kin
Beseeching in bended knees
Goodwill gifts that never came
To offset his piling medical bills

Earth to earth
Ash to ash
And the yawning mouth
Of the grave is temporarily shut
But to allow it digest its latest meal
And the roof of the wicked
Collapses on the widow
Hyenas and vultures
Shamelessly convoke
On a dead man's treasure
To appropriate his assets
Minus liabilities
Money, house, car, cloth, pot and cutlery
Scavengers laying bogus claims
As though their hands were unfairly tied
Behind their backs
Preventing them from making profits
And savings when others did

Her shorn skull shines
Under the fierce tropical sun
In frightening funeral rites
Black mourning clothes
Worse than a beggar's shroud
Insignia of widowhood investiture
Stuck compulsorily on her
In one year social imprisonment
Her children are stranded right in her face
And scattered to serve others
Fodders for child slavery and sex
Opening new vista of adversity
As though they murdered
Their intestate father
And then comes the icing
On the cake of the hawks
The passing on of the widow
To a male relation of the departed
A reaper of an olive he planted not
A patient dog waiting on the wings of death
To annex whatever warmth
That remains
Of the widow's benumb and frail frame.

(c) Chris Jibero.

Submitted: Thursday, October 06, 2011
Edited: Saturday, December 29, 2012

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