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how we perceive death


how we perceive death

death has different meanings to us;
me when I read the news of a hundred more people
killed in Benue. i do not bother to read through because
last week, two hundred and more people died the same way.
me when I remember my father left Lagos for Jos, few days before the Herdsmen struck again--
to leave the headlines with more souls laid to rest in Rukuba.
me click the news, me read, me search if father was lost to the guns too.
me then knew how many souls go around everyday,
learning how to live where gun shots are served
as daily meals or where bombs serve as alarms
for those who don't sleep at night
in fear of another sacred massacre overnight.
me; the bereaved, the son of the widow, the one interviewed to know who my father was,
the paragraph of different pictures, taken from different spots -
me; the news reporter when deaths are recorded from distance.

what death means to us -- (when we're not the victims of where children die like
mosquitoes fleeted with insecticides, where mothers turn
widows, fathers to ghosts, playing fields to become cemetery) --
is like me in the picture, if I was your son, or father, or brother
or far away relative, or somebody on the headline or an entire stranger
smoking the flames of the bodies of crises in Jos,
or being burnt, or slaughtered, or gunned or bombed
because of some sacred cows -- in Benue, in Jos or in Northern Nigeria.

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