Happiness Lost

Happiness Lost

I am standing on the pier
My head bowed not against the wind
But to hide the tears
A grown man must not shed

“What ails thee” Said the boatman
“My earnings are in kobos* and coins.
But perhaps I can help”

I see him true and kind
Though lacking the gift of the “eye”
Will he dip his oar into my heaving chest
And stop the waves of despair?

So I lingered at the doctor’s door
He bade me step in for a moments span
A friendly ear in desperate times
But failing to perceive what cannot be seen,
He bade me adieu and pocketed his fees

Then I went seeking nothing at the weekly market
Hoping the noise would drown my thoughts
But though they screamed like the occupants of hell
It was as whispers in my ears

I found myself seated at a buka’s* table
I looked at the food as if it was alien fare
So the cook rested a while from roasting by her roaring flames
“Is the food lacking salt,” she asked
“Or the meat too hard for delicate teeth?”
Can she use fresh meat to mend the tear in my broken heart?
Or flames to sear the memories away?
So I paid my due and left the meal untouched

Where was I but in the vaulted halls
On hallowed grounds in the neighborhood church
It was at sunset that the priest found me
Just as I was on my knees an age ago
when the cock woke both the rich and poor
“My son” he said, though my age he was
“Some things cannot be fixed,
When the damage is done.
Look to Christ since you believe.
His Hands are long
And his hearing keen
So tarry awhile and pray a bit
He will heal your heart
And perhaps grant your wish.”

But happiness is lost
When I refused an offered heart
I struggled to regain it
But Alas! Too late! It has been offered out
Better a man than I, I guess

So once again I stood at the piers
And let the wind blow away my tears
And asked the boatman to ferry me away
“To where?”, he asked
“Anywhere where my thoughts can not follow”
He looked at me and saw the pain
So he cast his boat adrift on the roiling waves

And trailing my fingers in the sea
I thought I heard your laugh
Tinkling in the deeming lights
like silver bells gently in the wind
Which once brought me delight and joy
But it was the sea gulls
Making light of my broken dreams

And shining in the dark far from shore
Two lines of salty thread
seeking path from eyes to jaw
like drops of blood dripping on wood
carrying hapiness to your ears I hope
while I linger upon this flimsy tray
and wish the wind would carry my sadness away

*Kobo – coins of the Nigerian currency *Buka – public restaurant Me and the boatman

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