Home Blog My Final Dirge: A Poem by Emmanuel Enaku

My Final Dirge: A Poem by Emmanuel Enaku


I took off my dark shades glasses

Which covered my eyes

Against the harmful ultraviolet rays

Emitted by the hot harmattan sun

That fateful February evening

As you approached me.


I screamed mentally

As my mesmerised eyes

Roved over your ethereal figure.

You were an effusion of beauty,

A rare diadem, an exotic specie

Which could never be believed

To be an offspring of man.


You were a surreal entity,

A living progression

Of a master artistic imagination

And, you were one

Who affected me

In no small way — all on the positive

Or so I thought.

The smile broke on your aquiline face,

Then, transforming

The already remarkable beauty

Into an image

That left me breathless.

“Oh, Allah!” So beautiful!

My words came out involuntarily,

My heart, beating, with adoration.

“You look like you have seen a ghost.”

You had said teasingly,

Your voice, a smooth, tasty solfa

And a smile that exposed

Your excellent set

Of dentition to my full glare.

Your dimples an attraction on their own

And even now, I lack the words

To describe the allure

They added to your face.

You were my best friend.

But more, you were the one

My heart beat for.

It was your sweetness

I lived for, daily,

In secret, I craved your presence.

And then, because I could hold it no more,

I had spilled the words that had multiplied

So much in my heart

And made me feel like I would explode

In a shower of painful secret passions

Were I to keep them concealed still.

It was the only way out for me.

I had not many other options

Or not any other options.

This was it for me.

“I love you!”

I blurted out

In a suppressed voice

That betrayed my fear

And my shy timidity.

Yes, it was a weak voice.

A voice that spoke volumes.

It was a voice that said I didn’t know

What I’d do without

A favourable response.

“I love you!”

I meant it.

From my heart,

With a passion as strong as the sun.

But I wish I waited.

My mistake was my hurry,

My impatience to show you

My faith in our fate.

Because, your smile

Was a potent force,

A reassuring fixture,

From which I drew hope,

That made me feel invulnerable;

What made me feel invincible.

We were perfect

Yet, not as perfect

As we thought.

Time, they say, is good

at revealing the truth.

It eventually revealed

Our short-comings.

The tiny imperfections

That over time became the catalyst

For the broken painful pieces

We now are.

My heart bled.

Oh! It so bled from the day

I found out that we could not be

As sturdy as we wished we could.

Though, I saw quite clearly

The dent on the foundation,

I only watched helplessly as

Our dream collapsed,

Being ripped in half like a

Graphical representation

Of a section.

I had hope.

My reason to not give up.

Reason I kept trying to fix

A damaged and dividing structure.

There was a chance.

I should have been given a chance.

Hope could only go as far

As patience could carry.

Your impatience left me

Discouraged, yet, I tried — battling

Ferociously with all I had,

With nothing to buttress my efforts.

I battled with hope

As my only succour.

Hope, which over time

Became worn and torn that

It could not survive the sly,

Thoughtless and painful

Affirmations you uttered.

Your words were

A sledge hammer and

In one swift movement,

One quick sentence,

It broke all I had which was nothing

But a plastered, bleeding and

Weak bulk of hope.

Hope is dead.

I had only managed

To hold unto dear life.

Soul is weak, mind is foggy

And heart is drained.

The anguish at

The thought of what once was

Surpasses description,

It surpasses definition.

The pain!!

Is not something a living soul

Should go through.

Yet, it’s a cross I am forced to carry.

I look forward to a fresh start.

Without the pain and hurt and shame.

A fresh start with vigour

And strength.

A start nil of the memories of my pain

Or my efforts to keep our love aflame

And not including the fact

That the offence

Which began my journey

To Golgotha

Is that I gave you my all.

My all.

You. It was all you!!

May God forgive you.

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