A WORD FOR THE SOLDIERS RETURNING HOME

IMG-20161007-WA0001.jpgSome soldiers leave behind their wives and children
Some just get married and leave their brides in their first trimester
You left parents, siblings, relatives and friends
To face a destination your feet have never trod
For some, the ride cost only some hours
For others a day or more along the dusty rocky slopes
Your dogged efforts taught you the Man O War ways
While your skillful hands learnt arts in SAED
Fully armoured for the work life, you smiled to your PPAs
Some as staff corpers, others as ghost corpers.

We met at the lodge when your journey had long begun
And you crested your names across my white vest
Tumi, my booboo, it was all an act but you were sweet natured
Kelechi, you were the first hospitable Samaritan
Femi, I always wanted to chat with you by the stairways
Favour, your charming laughter always pulled me to you
Debby, I loved your charisma, gaiety and will
Monday, I loved to name you after every day of the week cause it made you smile
Ernest, your laughter initially disturbed me until I found myself missing it
Obiora, only you said my name with the accent, and I liked it
Nsikak, you were always a jolly good fellow, I often wondered what you were happy about
Tope, you were industrious and strong, thank you for the compound name ‘Nikky O’
Ayo, I adored your gracious and entertaining happy self
Lizzy, you taught me that people are worth loving, no matter how weird they seem
Oghenemine, you have the loving heart of a child and you opened your arms to me
Francis, from a distance, I knew you as dependable
Foluke, your motherly care and carriage was always admirable.

You all were my first family in this fountain of knowledge
I should say don’t leave home but this is only home for eleven months
As you head back, don’t forget your newly gained identity
You’re a soldier; don’t let life defeat you
And of course, I’ll miss you.

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