If You Were Nailed by a Bullet in Golgotha
S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema
If the final nail to your cross is a bullet in Golgotha or some backstreet
Many people would take a knee, I saw them do that for Floyd
Bullets stopped some of us at Lekki’s tollgate
History’s annals were reproduced in hashtags and the media sang
And sorrows in our hearts rang
Maybe justice will spare assassins, but in death, the fly inspires a swarm
My second father was also a fly in this country’s system’s web
A bullet caught him in the neck, and when we gathered to weep
We saw a smile on his face, and at night, found a new twinkle in the skies
Yesterday, I was a force with sparks flying in various places
Today, I am a fire consumed in too many spaces
Tomorrow, I will be the silence marked by an echoing end
Grief on another plane, questioning if you feel this wandering pain.
A child somewhere draped her hands around my memory
Carved characters into an image and clicked my soul to the realm
6,000 Retweets; 1,000 shares, and it seems I live beyond time #ForeverHere
But trends quickly fizzle into the next buzz – maybe another Oscar-winning slap?
Not one action of light is lost in a universe of constellations coming together
To birth new dreams, and long after, new lights are born to become the angels of freedom
S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema is a multiple-award-winning writer, cultural activist, editor, publisher, and development consultant. He was listed among Nigerian Writers Award’s 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40 (2017 & 2018) and EGC’s Top 50 Contemporary Poets Who Rocked Nigeria (2012-2017). He was previously the Black History Month Project Curator and founding President of African Writers [Society] at the University of Sussex. His poetry collections include Memory and the Call of Waters (Shortlist, The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2022) and Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile (Winner, Association of Nigerian Authors Prize for Poetry 2014; Nominee, Soyinka Prize for African Literature 2018). Su’eddie also has award credits for his prose and children’s fiction. He is a Chevening alum of the University of Sussex; an alum of Benue State University, Makurdi; a 2022 David C. Pollock scholar of the Families in Global Transition; and convener, Benue Book and Arts Festival.