Robert Mugobi


The Funeral - Poem by Robert Mugobi

As the night grew darker and darker
My eyes became heavier and heavier
But I could not close them
No, not tonight
I could not allow myself to sleep

The entire compound was soon filled
Filled with people of all ages
Who had come for different errands
Some were on a mission to quench their thirst
The thirst of their curiosity, rather,
To find out whether or not
It was true that she had gave up her ghost

Some were on a quest to genuinely pass their condolences
Some had come to escape from the shackles of poverty
Which was denying them the right to even a meagre meal of “sadza and cabbage’’
With watery mouths they had come
In search of this humble ‘Zimbabwean funeral meal’

Pop eyed I stood behind the mourners
They sang hymns and choruses
Their hands pounded drums and clapped
As if they had prepared for this day

A stone throw away from me
A certain middle aged woman
Tried to explain how this had happened
She blamed it all on witchcraft
From the way she talked
One would think she saw it happen

I found myself a place to sit
Just opposite to the room in which the white casket was
With my eyes riveted on the casket
I waited for daybreak

In the early late hours of the morning
The white casket was taken to the church
I took some comfort in this
Hoping by some ‘miracle’, she would come back to life

The white casket was opened
And people were given a chance
A chance to see ‘her’ for the last time
Patiently I stood in the queue
As I waited for my turn
To take a glimpse at the inside of the casket

As soon as people saw the corpse
They were robbed of their last drops of self-control
They broke into a paroxysm of sobbing
Shading tears like a little kid crying for her mother’s breast milk

I felt power leaving my body
As soon as I laid my eyes on ‘her’
Lying lifeless in the casket
Tears began to meander down my cheeks
But the fires of sadness that burned inside me
Were so fierce that they evaporated
All the tears from my face

I summoned as much strength as I could get
And slowly made my way out

(..... to be continued)

Topic(s) of this poem: funeral, grief, loss, sorrow


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I'm talking of an experience at a funeral, how different people attend with different motives. How I reject to accept that a loved one has truly died

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015



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