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Farewell at Kafanchan Station

Kọ́la Túbọ̀sún

For Biyi Bándélé

The horn did not blare for the crowds

To part, baskets in harried swing across the tracks

Like they do in Lagos, deaf to metal reason.

The messenger did not announce, in time,

From afar with the talking drum, loud enough

To warn us to watch a day about to end.

The rain did not tell ahead before the prattles

Began on the thatched roofs of the hearts,

Then joyful, shortly about to break.

Petrichor soothing the parched earth

Into a dance of delight, a harvest-inviting

Drums on the thirst of waiting seasons.

The horseman did not say what message

He had come to break, this time, in the dawn

Of a strangely cloudy day, quick as a mist.

Passengers, we stood there, luggage in hand,

Light in feet and lips as the train trudges

Into a long night we did not see coming.


Kola Tubosun, is a Nigerian linguist, editor, travel writer, and scholar. His works have been published in African Writer, Aké Review, Brittle Paper, International Literary Quarterly, Jalada, Popula, Saraba Magazine, etc. In 2016, he became the first African to be given the Premio Ostana, a prize given for work in indigenous language advocacy. Tubosun is the brain behind, a first crowdsourced multimedia dictionary of Yorùbá names. He has been translated to Italian and Korean, and currently works as a freelance lexicographer with Oxford University Press, UK. His collection of poetry Edwardsville by Heart was published in November 2016 by Wisdom’s Bottom Press, UK.



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