The Sunflower in My Father’s Garden – John Chinaka Onyeche

A Sunflower had sprouted out in my father’s garden in the morning,
I showed it to him in the evening while we had walked through the garden.
And my father told me that, it was a way of our ancestors returning,
Those who had died in the years past, without a trace.

They return as flowers from their long time journey into the spirit land,
That we should now care for them. And when I showed it to my mother, she said:
“It is a gift from nature” she advised that I care for the little sunflower in our garden.
But when I came back to look at it again to know where it was coming from,
I was bemused at how it faded away from its spot like the Sun in the firmament.

Then when I returned home from the garden, the news was broken to me;
“My father had walked away from home to where no trace of him is possible…”
“My mother had wailed rivers as tears and that she had paddled through it,
Just like her wooden canoe into the world of oblivion.”

Each day I remember them, I walk through the garden, searching…
Searching for a sunflower, maybe my father might have returned through it,
Or perhaps my mother will become like nature in the garden,
And my father as the sunflower; now my ancestor!

About the Author:

John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc” (he/his) is an author of three poetry collections “Echoes Across The Atlantic”, a husband, father and poet from Nigeria. He writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State.
John Chinaka can be reached through the following means:

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