Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

Freshman - 509 Points (16 January 1968 / Umuahia, Nigeria)

My Friend's Wedding - Poem by Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

Saturday is native to weddings and ceremonies
Of anxieties – patterned in coarse sputum of rain.
My friend Bonsy and his wife filled the calendar
With the uselessness of time, leveled against waste
As indicated by the clocks of dew-coated pavements
Of our yawning city.
Next to this was the arrangement of formalities which
Came with the attainment of stress. They haggled
Between themselves, the celebrants. Oh well, they haggled
For the benefits of the church from which the organ must
Sound, to welcome them – aisle-bound – among a congregation
That suits itself with the accoutrements of churchdom.
And the wedding proceeded amid the glare of the gentle
Sun, into whose ears the dulcet voice of the red organ
Poured. A postman once said to me, ‘If all posts bore
Wedding invitations, who would attend and who wouldn’t? ’
To which I turned my arms up, helplessly indicating my
Thoughtlessness to such questions.
And the church bell pealed.
It grew with the muscle of Doppler effect when frayed nerves
Become inured to boiling cold like the one we all were witnesses
To, that blustery, unendowed Saturday, when Bonsy married June.
And the minister pronounced every word of conjugation with
Care, peering into the eyes of the couple and the rest of us sinners
Who listened with the attentiveness of cats on matters relating the
Rape of pious mice.
The organ rose and fell in one voice swoop, massaging the pride
In one sinner after another on this ceremony of whimsical gales,
Now sweeping the face of the town; this union of bone and flesh
Draped in dark suits and flowing matter of whiteness, white and
Whitish whiteness of white.
‘I DO’.
The church winked.
‘I DO’.
The holy house hummed.
The organ belched.
Outside, Saturday wore on like before... oh, no, not like before,
When it would have lain prostrate to its own fouled weather of
Extreme bride bliss and dancing confetti.
My friend’s wedding went on on the blustery breath of July rain.
Dark and fussy, the clouds, jealous of July, frowned their faces.
Rain spat gently. No thunder spoke.
Lightning came only through the lone eyes of cameras.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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