The Migration of White Crows

Ejiro Edward

Prayer for the dead: Inna lillahi wa ina ilayhi wa raji’un.

About 200 people were buried following killings of civilians by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Zamfara state, with many still unaccounted for. – Aljazeera

This city has become an inferno of fear, it sits below a cloud of accusation, waiting for the rain of bullets. We arise when the migration of clouds opens into the morning, our bodies drinking up the goodness of the sun while we wait for our shadows to cast a lot in the direction we may run. Our nights are spent with our eyes gazing into the blanket of the sky, awaiting the fall of a miracle, instead we measure  a cloud of harvested grief waiting to flood the earth. 
We listen  to the movement of ghosts, a reminder that we may soon join those whose bodies were greeted by bullets. A rifle sleeps under our bed so we might wrestle with death if it comes for us. Our bags lie close, ready to flee the city, false hope slicing through our tongues.
We observe the gathering of white crows eager for the harvest, heads separated from necks, bowels of men pouring out, the soul emancipated from the body of another Messiah ascending into heaven. 

We imagine God’s silence breaking,

{‘cause waiting is a virtue}

 our_                                               _sky!

       prayers_                        _His 

                    flying_   into 

                                              
Houses singing with fire, the sound of rain failing to douse the fire branching out of a house, the weeping and gnashing of teeth, we no longer have space for joy.

Ejiro Edward is the winner of the Antoa Poetry Contest. She has been published in HOAX, Down River Road, Olongo Africa, Agbowo, and many others. She is the co-convener of the Benin Art and Book Festival.

 

*Image by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash

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