Farewell at Kafanchan Station
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 YorubaName.com, 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.