Yesterday I Saw Death

Yesterday I Saw Death


Yesterday I saw death,

Standing at a crossroad beside a pile of dirt,

Wearing a long face,

While looking at humanity’s mad race.


Yesterday I saw death,

Inside the delivery room,

Smacking his lips at every new birth,

Watching the bride smile up at the groom.


Yesterday I saw death,

Pacing the streets without a moment’s rest,

Asking every passerby if they had a smoke,

Swift shake of the head proving there was just no hope.


Yesterday I saw death,

Sitting on the church’s pew,

Listening to the preacher as time slowly crept,

Looking round to see who was listening, but ‘twas just a few.


Yesterday I saw death,

Standing at street corners on skinny legs,

Asking every man passing, “Hey! you wanna fuck?”

Hoping tonight’d be a night of luck.


Yesterday I saw death,

Within university walls wearing a beret,

Wielding a gun while he downed a stiff drink,

Screaming as he pulled the trigger, “Forgiveness is a sin.”


Yesterday I saw death,

Walking slowly towards me with eyes downcast,

Killing everyone he passed no matter how healthy they felt,

I said “Hi,” shook his cold hand and gently walked past.


James Ogunjimi

December 2014

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