READ: “It Was Not Christmas Yet” | Bose Ayeni-Tsevende

I did not want to tell you
But you must have heard
The blast was heaven-bound!
The blast shook the earth!

Was it also Christmas eve in heaven?
Here, it was,
The eve of chicken slaying
The eve of chicken frying
The eve of last minute buying

That tomato that wouldn’t do
That toy for junior
That cabbage for jollof rice
That extra profit,
Awaited all year long,
A chance to earn enough for the rent.

The crowd was thick
Not a chance to move,
Many were selling,
Many were buying,
Many were chatting,
Many were laughing
Many were haggling,
And then,
BLAST

Limbs flew,
Eyes blinded…
Legs halved
And
Blast!
Another bomb blast,
More tummy blasts
More heads blown off
And the earth stood
For a moment on one leg.

Then the rush,
To help,
The dead,
The yet to die,
The ones wishing for death

And
BLAST
Another bomb blast,
Intended,
To blast the remnants,
The help givers

I did not want to tell you
But you saw from the windows of heaven,
The death toll,
As they arrived heaven’s gate,
Some hopped in on one leg
Some rolled on buttocks,
Many without arms,
Many without their heads
Many, only God could identify

And you saw the tears ,
Of us left,
To mourn our departed
With no Christmas to celebrate

I didn’t want to tell you,
I rehearsed the carols
I fried the chicken
I dressed the children,
I dried my tears,
In hope of peace,
Just for you.

© Bose Ayeni Tsevende

Bose Ayeni Tsevende is a dancer, choreographer, poet,a mother and grandmother of many children. She was a dance lecturer at the department of Theater and Film Arts- University of Jos, Nigeria.
Some of her works include:
1. Introduction To Dance and Choreography- The basics
2. The Man Lives (drama)
3. U Are A Poet (poetry)
4. Streams (poetry) [It was nominated for ANA / Cadbury Award 2010]
5. Pieces Of Peace (poetry)

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