HERE IS WATER
by ‘Gbenga Adeoba
(After Kechi Nomu’s Your Old Bones are Seeking Wooden Crosses)
At the waterside in Boyo, the
rituals of movement intensify at dusk.
The pull of tides reinvents the shore
into a space for things intimate and lost.
You could find trinket boxes or a girl’s
plastic doll in that rubble. Baby shoes, too.
The tiny things are heavier—even songbirds.
I am thinking these tunes being telegraphed
into the dark, fretting the waters,
are a tribute to the lives of drowned men.
I sit by the water, knowing how
sounds could alter the shape of an expanse.
The boys who walk the boundaries now,
in search of collectibles, bear on their bodies
a history threaded to this river.
One wades inward: water around his body;
water, a different texture, in his eyes.
He pulls two of his friends along,
past the quay where the barges
and their fathers’ canoes used to lay.
Here is water, he says.
Here is memory shifting in its form,
bearing things heavy and lost. My father
and yours, here now and gone like the tides.