New poem by Musa Okwonga: “Plane”


They always look so small in the doorway
As you soar away
But there’s nothing to make a man take his own plane
Like his own pain,
And there’s no pain like home.

Some asked me: “how could you leave”
And I said “it’s only footsteps”
Some said “what you need is a good nest,
You need to settle down”
I said “I’m not a bird,
And I’m not a dustcloud”

That’s me: bravado.
Feelings embargoed –
If you love me I will hate you,
If you come close I will irradiate you –
Funny how it goes;
World gives you the bruises,
Suddenly the mirror is where the brute is.

This is what life has taught –
Nice guys get treated like asphalt
That’s how I get taught,
Get nice, you get naught –
So it’s all “go, go, go,
Drop your seed,
Then go missing like a dyslexic’s apostrophes.
What do you mean, you miss her?
Man up! It’s only sex, man up!”

– No.
Man down.
Man down.

This is what we get taught.
So when someone gives me a child
To hold, to take into my arms’ folds,
I get taut.

She gave me my child to hold,
But I didn’t – best decision –
Being that, being Dad,
Has lost its pull:
You can’t handle something that soft
Unless your hands are cotton wool,
And these fists are not that.

She called me a fool,
And regretted it the second she did it
Since we knew that word was my escape fuel.

I said “I’ll see you later”
She wept “When?”
And in my thoughts I swore,
“Later. So much later” –
And they both looked so small in the doorway
As I soared away.


About Charlotte Morgan Nwokenna

Editor and Public Relations Officer
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New poem by Musa Okwonga: “Plane”

  1. Rachael says:

    ‘Go missing like a dyslexic’s apostrophes.’ Brilliant. Another great piece… Every line is golden, Musa. I must come back here more often. Hope you’re well.

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