by Seun Lari-Williams
The world has stopped for you.
It holds its breath in fear of you.
Centuries-old traditions abandoned overnight
like they were nothing —
Terrorism, trade wars —
put away in boxes
for the one who truly unites.
Hear your name on the lips of babies.
Hear the silence on the streets.
Their schools are empty; their cemeteries, full;
Holy grounds, deserted for you.
Airplanes, hung away like clothes;
Homes turned into prisons for you.
All walls lie flat at your feet.
The prize is won, Great Queen.
Your lessons have been learned and
etched on their hearts.
Rest now, Artemis,
Stretch your wings and fly back to your
sweet, feathered nest.
And let the world breathe
Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEUN LARI-WILLIAMS was born in Lagos on 28th April 1987. He is a lawyer, poet, and flutist. His first anthology – Garri for Breakfast, was longlisted for the 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. His poem, ‘A Little Violence’, won the second prize in the 2019 Guardian Newspaper Poetry Competition. He is married to his best friend, Feyi and they reside in Munich, Germany where he is a DAAD Scholar for a masters’ degree in intellectual property law.