How I Killed My Soul

No love like yours, Chichi, but I have to go

The earth calls; the demand of blood-filled duty.

I know not who I will faceĀ  on death’s field

but Ojukwu told me the price of liberty is eternal vigilance;

to prevent another pogrom.

Gowon told them to get on with one Nigeria.

So in a clash of claims and counterclaims

they drank brandy and rained speeches

that made us pour out our blood as a libation to nameless deities.

I marched, the Land of the Rising Sun on my arm.

I knifed a strapling who could not even say ‘A raba.’

I bayoneted a boy who did not know what Ironsi had done.

I gut-shot a man who was nowhere near Nzeogwu on January 15 .

Blood washed my soul

on that day I saw him in a rage of bullets.

Lami, the striker I partnered on the Baptist High football team.

He grabbed his gun but Amadioha’s speed was with me.

In the instant he fell, our eyes locked

and I knew I had killed my soul.

4 thoughts on “How I Killed My Soul” by henry c.onyema (@ezeakwukwo)

  1. Deep,but you made Me sad reading this

  2. @Ezeakwukwo very moving, touching and sad it’s really time for people to realize that killing another person in the name of tribe and religion is like killing our own selves.

  3. The power of this poem lies in its capability to tell so much in so few words. We get a clear picture of the horrors and intrigues of the civil war and a saddening reality of how friends are turned against each other.

    A deep dark reminder of the destruction of war…nicely written.

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