Monday, 3 June 2013

Seeming is But a Garment

My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear – a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questioning…”Kahlil Gibran

Dressed in a pinned smile and enough
Appropriate laughter, I will sit at the meet
Of champions encircling the dinner table
And hope the lamb is succulent enough
To steer the conversation away
From what we have become.

Thirteen years ago, we were strangers
In search of ourselves, builders pulling
Together the foundations of our currency,
At the tail end of teenage bliss. Early
Lectures and intermittent exams
Were the height of our qualms,
We thought we knew stress like
The lines in our palms.

Who knew the storms were coming
Arm in arm to push us out of our
Houses and see who stands.
The jobless years, the tears
And fears, the marriages
That almost were, the friends

Who actually never were, the journeys
That brought us here, to a newly bought
House, where we celebrate progression
From the sum of our pasts. They speak
Of the twenty-years; a wilderness
Of searching and angst, wondering
And wandering into a future they
Planned and I nod like I - am - there

Like my present was planned, they
Speak of the future like an extension
To a loft, as though we all stand on stairs
At the height of top, I think
of a future that escapes
The slums and I bury my thoughts

With a wreath of smiles. How
Do I begin to explain the start
Of angst that the thirties dragged
In with pomp? Should I say it is a storm
That broke down my houses
That my dreams are a pack of wingless
Birds that stay on my back
That a sadness looms over me

Larger than the sun, that it’s rays
Are in compartments behind my breast
That sometimes all the locks break
At once and I feel my sanity
Slip - away, my body becomes
A heavy weight and it has happened

So many times, that I have learnt
There is power in a good song, like
Screaming out loud, it is well
with my soul at the edge of a cliff
can keep me my feet firmly on the ground
I could tell them so much but instead I
Laugh and smile. I don’t want to break, but

My Friends, I am not what I seem. Seeming
Is but a garment I wear – a care- woven
Garment that protects me from questioning
And saves others from the sear
Of a sincere answer.

©Tolulola Agbelusi