Sky high expectations heralded his coming.
The sentiment was ubiquitous.
Projected as the tested conquering cowherd,
Raised specifically to tame my woes.
Being seasoned by life’s vicissitudes,
He was fitted to calm troubling nerves.
The one with the shepherd’s wand,
At whose instance rocky paths would be smoothened
And hollowed ways would be leveled.
Gifted with the golden touch,
His words would revive flattened currency.
So, I uttered: Maranatha!
This conclusion was concocted for me,
By those whose voices forced out reason,
Men and women whose arguments abhorred contemplation.
Bombarded all around by honeyed-words
I hardly could distil facts from farce.
Swept off my feet, right questions I ignored.
Others’ premise was made mine,
Their submissions foisted on me.
I was hooked on one hope:
Change of guard equals change of life
Longing for all wrongs to be righted,
I shouted: Here comes the Redeemer!
Change I sought and change I got.
Days morphed into nights,
Weeks added up to months,
Hoary hair increased,
Face lines deepened,
Without doubt change actually started with me.
But I still am hungry as in the past!
Still bruised and battered as before!
Broke and broken as always!
Disrobed, abused and assaulted as usual!
Still live in squalor.
Still sleep in darkness.
Still irked by sickness.
Still travel contoured roads.
Still encounter pompous officers
And light-fingered bureaucrats.
Still hear of stolen dollars
And squandered naira.
I turn to the Rocked Villa, muttering:
Do you host the Messiah
Or we hope for another?
Longing for the forlorn hope
Which transmogrified to retreating shadows,
I burst into tears.
Not for the hungry kids,
Whose future is mortgaged.
Nor for the angry youths,
Whose trust is betrayed.
Not even for despondent adults,
Whose generation is wasted.
My tears are for me.
For who I have become.
And who I have not become.
Every time I fall for the same lie.
Every test year I repeat same mistake.
Hence the failed promise cycle is my life,
And frittered opportunities my lot.
And it seems I’m too feeble to change it.
Every time my hope is raised only to be dashed.
Promises are made just to be broken.
And I seem helpless, wondering:
Who will deliver me from this life of death?
Am I too trusting or too gullible?
Am I easy to convince or confuse?
Am I unreasonable or unreasoning?
Am I hard-brained or hare-brained?
Am I too demanding or too forgiving?
Pushed to the wall by high forces,
I am torn between making my change
To rewrite my narrative
And looking beyond the firmament,
To the city where streets are paved with gold,
To kick off a life of bliss beyond the cloud
When the Bridegroom chooses to return.