FINALLY, MY GRANDFATHER UNDID DARKNESS
To fritter loneliness, my grandfather chews his sticks of cigarettes
and finds company among the boulders at our veranda,
hitting them with his walking stick to punctuate his anger.
Everyone has left him except the rocks and his Kadio radio,
which often reels out white noises and Afghan bombs.
He soon learned geography without an eye;
and told me we need inner eye more to walk the atlas of life,
and for centuries the sockets have remained homes of human misery.
Each night he would gamble his way through the rocks
and sit on his rocking chair facing the moon.
My grandfather soon learned the divinity of darkness
because grief is sometimes painted with light. Today
he is breaking the day with his fingers and has locked
his ears within the walls. Like all blind,
my grandfather does not need an eye to know that it is you.
—from Rattle #65, Fall 2019
Tribute to African Poets
Olajide Salawu: “I want my verse to document human anguish in all forms. Likewise, I like my imagery to talk about love. Finally, I like bitter metaphors that speak against any forms of human oppression.”