7 Leaves

The old tree grew in my grand
father's compound
It used to be beautiful and
fruitful all around
Birds always came down in
swoops to surround
Nobody knows the type of tree
or fruit anymore
It has no fruits anymore only
the shoes children used to
throw at its fruits, hang from
branches and rests at it's root
It has no sweet smell anymore
only animal excrement and
insects gathered at the root
The tree has only seven leaves
now and each tells a story of
glory
Let me tell how, back before my
family had a plough
My grandfather's, brother's,
mother's, father planted the
seedling
It took seven years, growing
into a sapling
Young grandparents sat on its
side straddling
On its branches grandparents
were prattling
Stolen meat shared on its
branches followed by babbling
and haggling
It has seen wars
Its leaves has traveled to other
shores
It has seen peace
It has felt disease
Fogy misty mornings
Under its branches family
members started the day by
praying, discussed farming and
gave each other warnings
Warm breezy afternoons
Under its branches family
members sat on stools, shared
food with spoons and told
stories of robin hood
Cold still airy nights
Under its branches family
members shared food bites,
mosquito bites and each others
plights
Bright lights shine upon it
leaves
Revealing shadows that seemed
like thieves
Reveling love on top of trees like
Adam and Eve
Romances bloomed and love
lockets were exchanged under
its shadows until mornings
dawned
Family members kicked their
buckets and went to the great
beyond
Funerals kicked off and no body
looked at the tree, not even for
a second
An eternity, our longest lasting
family member although some
parts are missing which we
dismembered for firewood
Encroaching modernity, our
oldest fast passing family
member remained an
interesting, lovely resting place
of wood
Seven leaves are all that is left of
its crown
Some say they stand for the
number of years remaining
I say it will make a good
painting
Some say they stand for the
days of the week
I say they stand for those that
made it weep
Seeing our family friend getting
weak
Dropping no more leaves for us
to sweep
The roots of the love of this tree
and our family go deep.

by Funkekeme Akposeye

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