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Yesterday I Saw Death

Yesterday I Saw Death

Yesterday I saw death,
Standing at a crossroad beside a pile of dirt,
Wearing a long face,
While looking at humanity’s mad race.

Yesterday I saw death,
Inside the delivery room,
Smacking his lips at every new birth,
Watching the bride smile up at the groom.

Yesterday I saw death,
Pacing the streets without a moment’s rest,
Asking every passerby if they’ve got a smoke,
Swift shake of the head proving there’s just no hope.

Yesterday I saw death,
Sitting on the church’s pew,
Listening to the preacher as time slowly crept,
Looking round to see who was listening, but ‘twas just a few.

Yesterday I saw death,
Within university walls wearing a beret,
Wielding a gun while he downed a stiff drink,
Screaming as he pulled the trigger, “Forgiveness is a sin.”

Yesterday I saw death,
Walking slowly towards me with eyes downcast,
Killing everyone he passed no matter how healthy they felt,
I said “Hi,” shook his cold hand and gently walked past.

James Ogunjimi
December 2014