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And the Poetry Instructor Said

Loveth Liberty

And the poetry instructor said

"Write a poem in 2 parts.

In the first part, write about something you have lost and the empty spaces it has left in your life."



Tear drops

Tear drops


Wipe it till the page goes back to a plain white sheet. Empty

When the instructor spoke of empty spaces,

I think of the empty space between your gap tooth

I think about your side of my bed,

Now empty like the Lord's grave on the third day.

What is this poem

If not looking for the living among the dead?

The instructor walks up to my side of the desk

Asking why 30 minutes into the writing test, I have not written a word yet.

How do I tell her

That to name a loss after you is to plan a funeral for what is still alive and pulsing?

What is this poem

If not looking for the living among the dead.

"In the second part of the poem,

Go backwards into time until the lost thing is no longer lost"

I just told you.

I haven’t lost him yet.

My therapist says denial is the first stage

of grief.

I tell her there is a thin line between denial and faith.

And she says

Mine is an unrighteous faith.

The type that stays by an empty sick bed

Trying to guilt trip God into healing what is now in the grave.

At the end of the poetry class, my page is still empty

Like your side of my bed.

What is this poem

If not looking for the living among the dead?


Loveth Liberty is a multiple prize winning performance poet and spoken word artiste whose work interrogates the Nigerian sociopolitical pulses, delicately explores womanhood and highlights the human experience.With her artistry throbbing with social consciousness, the young Nigerian multiple Slam champion has performed at major literary and arts festivals across the country and has worked with notable national and global organisations like the BBC Media Action, European Union, Amnesty International and the United Nations Development Programme while graciously impacting the Nigerian literary ecosystem. In her words: “I want to make art. Pour out myself generously and graciously so, so much that a lot of dreams, feeding off of mine, can bloom”



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