Awéléwà (Part 2)


By: Onifade Oladimeji Samson Dlog, ABH Press

I saw your smiling
At my friend not me
He looked away
And smiled in silence too, fool!

By the brooks of water
The voice that sang gently
Made you smile broadly
Was mine not his, lying under the dry leaves

You looked more beautiful
The Adùn festival approached
And you were all smiles
As you walked with your friends

Once I wished, twice I thought
It became my dream
And when will I stand
Before this ravishing princess

The ancient pots were set
The beads shining
I peeped to see
You were all smiling

The doom was quiet
Waiting in silence for you
Who would dance?
The pot must be intact
But you tripped, and it was shattered

Stand up and dance more
Dance, everybody waited on
Your name stuck in their throats
And they looked on in tears

Oh, are you going this way
On a journey of no return
Are you quietly embracing
This forever sleep

Wait, let’s hold hands
Along this empty path
I have been engorged
With strength, only to follow you.

Let’s hold hands
Whether wrong or right
Let’s sleep on, together
In this endless night.

Read: Awéléwà, the princess, fell in love with my ignorant friend. He did, also. He couldn’t betray his childhood friend, so he kept it. She smiled more than ever whenever she saw us… I was a nobody and never noticed. I cried in silence for my bad luck.
Adùn, the great and only festival in the village. It was a time everybody looked forward to witnessing each year. Amidst several other things, selected few virgins would dance with the ancient pots on their head. It must never touch the ground or be broken. The virgin would die of an unknown and incurable disease. In pain and sickness she would silently slide into the void of the other side, unless the Ìsan water from the river inside the forbidden evil forest is used to bath her. Awéléwà tripped. She would die? Would she be saved?

To be continued…

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