by Agwaze Gift Naomi
Sitting under the mango tree.
Enjoying the cool night air,
With the moon smiling down on all beneath.
The happy chatter of little ones, anticipating the moonlight tales of the elderly.
Sounds of mothers petting their toddlers to sleep.
Fathers under the cashew tree discussing pressing issues at hand while sipping palm wine and chewing kola nut.
A very lively night it was,
Walking on the road and I’m wondering where everyone went.
The environment that was once the center of activities is now deserted.
The wails of one pleading with death to spare its loved one can be heard.
Gone are the joyful sounds of children playing under the glory of the sun.
Little ones longing for the comforting caress of their grandparents.
But what happened?
The sun never rose.
The day never dawned.
In a glimpse,
The moon changed from its illuminance to a dark shade of red.
The beautiful stars disappeared from the sky.
Gone was the glory of the night.
Terror was in sight.
Danger was spreading its shadow over the face of the earth.
“Run”, the chief shouted,
“Run into your homes, for we don’t know what calamity has befallen us, (‘Stay away and afar until the bright day dawns’)”.
Now, distancing is the new Social.
The freedom we freely enjoyed now comes at a cost.
The city which never slept has been forced into a deep slumber.
The once united family, is now separated from one another.
The wise one is left in a state of bewilderment.
Growling sounds of the stomach can be heard,
But nothing can be done, as work places have been shut down, blocking the source of income to many.
Doors to the school are shut, jeopardizing the future of our young leaders.
Our spiritual life has been put to test as our religious homes have been sealed shut.
But when would these all end?
When would we be able to breathe in the fresh air of the morning?
When would life be restored to streets and this dark shadow be rolled off from the sky?
When would this red moon be replaced by the cool moon of the night, and the majesty of the night restored?
When would the day dawn?
When would the night tales begin again?