The Spring’s Last Drop

We present this work in honor of the 10th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Catherine Obianuju Acholonu
1951 – 2013


I can still recall their laughter
As they spoke of ‘lost virtue’.
I, Obiajunu
I have learned to live in scarcity.

So, cautiously,
i choose my steps
labouring up the steep hill
bearing on my head
in a clay pot
the spring’s very last drop

but from the bushes
a sweet melody
streams forth
and fills my ears

and the body
is tempted to sway
leading the feet
off the straight path

and the eyes
are tempted to stray
to find the source
the giver of temporal joy

but i must hold fast
my pot of spring water

Though the seller of clay pot
never makes the ‘customer’
though the carrier of clay pot
be the mother of an only son
and though this tune
vibrating in my ears
tempts me to dance
to sway my hips
in unison
with it

yet i cannot lose it
this stem
this prop

i have laboured up this hill
through toil and sweat
and i cannot spill it
this water so pure
so clear and sweet
the dying spring’s last drop

i obianuju
i shall provide my children
with plenty
i shall multiply this drop
they will never taste
of the wasted fluid
of the sea

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