KA ( / Nigeria)

Lost In Action

One irksome, prosy afternoon
devoid of interest, time hanging heavily -
to have my stripling fling,
I digressed into a bush
beside an empty street.
The storm of war
had only just blown over.

Under a leafshorn tree
I chanced upon the skeleton
of an unknown combatant,
still garbed in regimentals.

Picked clean by maggots
and scavengers, and bleached
by falling rains, his leavings
lay with a rifle by its side.

The grass was tall
around his wreck
save where he lay
and I standing beside,
my eyes bent over him,
in a solemn stroke of time,
as if to keep company
with him who died unmourned
and unremembered.

Out of vacant eye pits
he seemed to ogle
and observe the grief
In my own eyes
at our sad human plight
and then to sadly grin,
with a full set of teeth.

A quick glance round
brought a clue to me.
off his guard, he ventured
too near the wind of fire
and, being hard - run,
sought safety under
the shield of this tree,
itself unsheltered,
a forlorn hope,
and was swiped
by a pellet.

His relics were latter interred
where he fell.


Kodi Azuonye

(Kaduna - Nigeria,1998)

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