Close to the Heart and Other Poems by Opeyemi Oluwayomi

Opeyemi Oluwayomi | February 21st, 2023 | poetry | No Comments



while we were young,
our mother held our hands to the stream,
& we were not ashamed to drink
from her molded cup. like the thirsty horse
gulping water, i gulped her love, passed
it to Chisom, & Adamu, & we positioned
our feet in the direction of our father’s words,
resting on the shoulders of one another. here,
on her only fertile inherited land,
we climb our shoulders to plug the ripe fruits
on the tree, for we are nothing but the soil
in her farmland. When night fell, we clung
to our father’s words like a vigour, fuel-filled
lamp to guide us out of the darkness. but today,
what do we say of our old age? how we
become oblivious of the shoulders we lean
upon to behold the stars in the cloudy
firmament, how we forsake & sell the milk
in our mothers’ breasts for a peanut. what
do we say of our old age? have we grown
too old to properly bend & lay the bricks
for our grand-ones rightly?

—After Ocean Voung

life is an ancient woman crawling after
time. time is a mother, resurfacing after

death. as today metamorphoses into
yesterday, & yesterday fades into

obscurity, all we have left are memories
—a mechanical toolbox for repairing

the flaws that today develops in our
hands. today, let’s begin with failures:

losses, rejections, & mistakes. again,
let it happen, let it strike the tenderness

of our passion as it struggles to develop
stems and hold firm in the soil of triumph,

let it frustrate & strangle our passion, till
we own the tool in the same shape as your fiasco.

close to the heart

i have long waited for this love
to metamorphose from its noun

position to a definite verb. love
grows: to become old, sprouting

grey strands, & we make an
adjective out of it. ours wouldn’t

have grown so old if it had been
aborted in its early stages. today,

stay close to my heart, open the
door next to it, & sit comfortably.

my tenderness would attend to
you, telling you how often i sit

myself down, sip in a deep breath,
& listen to my heart soliloquize,

boasting of ownership.

Poet Bio

Opeyemi Oluwayomi is a Nigerian writer. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Poemify Magazine, Brittle Paper, Up-write Magazine, SprinNG, Salamander Ink and elsewhere. In addition, he is an aspiring novel writer. Whenever he is not writing, he is probably scoring some musical piece (piano, violin, voice et al.) or reading.

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