Rescuing The Dead

Rescuing The Dead


As I behold your ashen faces

cast on this rubble that has become your

visa to the world of the dead

I sit still, stealing inexplicable glances

at the tomorrow we all used to dream about

now clouded with gloom and despair


Sorrow bites at my heart while I behold

the government’s sudden hyper-activity;

you are the sacrificial lambs needed to jolt

a sleeping government back to the realities of pain


The Police, Road Safety, Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross:

they were all here today

gathering again to celebrate another festival of blood

gathering again to rescue the dead

gathering again to administer another dose of medicine after death


But who will tell your stories?


A couple just coming back from their own wedding…

A bachelor at the advanced stages of preparations for conjugal bliss…

A number of unusually beautiful kids embracing tomorrow with confidence…

A family visiting home after many years in self-appointed exile…

A crew of charming ladies waiting for the tolling bells…


Your faces are swords in my heart

with each look at your smiles burrowing holes

in the fragments of my being

Together with the seven-score-and-one families broken-hearted

I feel pain and pain, and pain

I mourn, I sorrow and I weep


What words can describe the feelings of my heart?

What perfect concerto can be sung for the heroes of tragedy?

What condolence can best be conveyed to those left to bear the pain?

What explanations will suffice for those murdered in the discomfort of their homes?

What use can the president’s tears prove to be when he is immune to pain?


I walk along this lonely valley of questions

and I brood…



18 thoughts on “Rescuing The Dead” by Onyeka Dike (@onyekadike)

  1. Still at a loss for words…

  2. God bless Nigeria,and heal us all of our hurts and disappointments

  3. Ahhh
    This one is touching.

    We are together.

    1. @Kaycee: every creative writer has the ability to feel the pains of his people. He is more alive to the feelings of his people than his words convey some times. I am still in psychological tears

  4. I am afraid to look at pictures because tears come to my eyes and I wonder the story behind each face I see.
    Beautiful piece

  5. Me too. Too sad.

  6. Lost for words……

  7. My heart bleeds…..
    May God heal our land…

  8. I don’t know what to say, but really, this is touching…

  9. hmmmmn that is all i can really say.

  10. word…..Medicine after death indeed

  11. Beautiful piece…
    U captured the confusion and the questions in our harts…

  12. Thanks y’all. Let’s keep writing to immortalise the dead.

  13. Nicely written,…It makes me angry to see how efficient they become after a tragedy…Of what use are the tears n speeches to the dead?..

  14. Rescuing the dead indeed.

    But this is still a lesson for those of us still alive. If you’re a lackadaizical fella, then you’ve got to set your head ablaze. Get up!

    Beautiful one @Onyeka-Dike.

  15. This is real immortality…you have written indeed to that effect.

  16. Beautiful piece. Who won’t connect with the imagery?

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