It was on a misty evening that Leila died.
She was seventeen,
When that tragedy stamped past.
Every day, before that day,
She had walked down the street on which I live,
On which she lived.
Sometimes arguing with herself,
Other times with unseen companions.
I did not think Leila was ever happy.
I never saw her dimple cheek cut a smile.
She kept her hair cropped.
She did her chores well.
And asked to be loved, just a little.
She bothered herself with everyone.
But not everyone bothered about Leila.
She had a family, brothers, and a sister.
But for their scowls at her,
I never saw them chatting.
That girl was lonely I know.
Fearing that she may see me,
And associate me with one of the voices in her head,
I oftentimes steal glances at her,
When she dawdles down the road.
I traveled far and forgot about Leila for a while.
I went to see other lands and people.
And in what form they exist.
If they lived happy, or if they lived sad,
Or if they just lived.
And why it was so.
Weary and spent;
In my search for meaning,
I returned home one misty morning,
And at evening, that misty day,
I was told a girl died.
She went picking leaves besides a ditch.
All the while muttering to herself,
Beside that ditch deep and steep.
The wind was howling.
A light rain drizzling.
And time freely passing.
Until a passerby glimpsed human legs,
Jutting out of a pond, in that ditch deep and steep,
Headlong the deceased had plunged.
It was Leila.
‘Urged on by the voices in her head’
So the people said.
© David Onotu 2008