A loud wail resounds
accompanied by a dirge.
Groans and moans,
tears like river,
wakes the sleeping night
as an elephant goes home.
Where does death lay its head?
How does He his victim choose?
Iku has snatched you from our hands,
snuffing the life out of your blackened lungs.
Several huffs and puffs you took,
making perfect smoke rings
to the loud ovation of the villagers
whose reverend eyes
Then Iku came visiting,
refusing to leave without your life as souvenir.
We ran to Osun abiamo orun,
to Ogun our dogs we beheaded,
to Esu odara our grieving hands did not offer adin,
All to placate Iku’s stony heart.
Sango’s promises have failed us,
even Orunmila looked on
while Obatala laid in a drunken stupor
as Iku whisked you away,
darkness his best ally.
Alabi, Alabi, you have gone home,
leaving me your wife behind
not even a backward glance as Iku led you away.
Now look down and tell me;
have my prophecies long foretold
not come to pass?
Will you now not bite your fingers in regret?
Tell me if you will not nod your head like an agama
that the huffs and puffs
though a show of mastery
of the white man’s stick
slowly, ever so slowly dragged the life out of you.
Now that you sit with the gods
and see all,
will you not agree with me
that the white man has finally sent
you on an errand of no return?
Alabi! Alabi! Answer me!
After all is said and done,
man takes his bow
and goes to his ancestral home.
Profile: She studied pyschology at Obafemi Awolowo University