Evening Dew – A Poem by Abdulbaseet Yusuff w/an image by Robynne Limoges

Evening Dew

The men and women that sit under the mango tree outside
the Pension centre swear they have sacrificed their limbs
for the country. They bring callused palms & arthritis
as proof. They once told their stories with the vigor
of green memory – uncertainty has knocked cavities
in their teeth now. They no longer remember their first salary,
& sometimes they forget some of the strokes that make up
their signature. Is it one or two loops? They wonder, as they scrawl
their presence on the attendance sheet. To retire here is
to be twice as tired. The queue of these workers stretch
hungrily like deserts. Some of them do not care for the
dues anymore. It is only folly for one to hope to quench
their thirst with dew. How many droplets will fill the plate
of the tongue? They just come to soak in the ambience
of camaraderie, to talk about whose grandchild has started
kindergarten or whose partner has succumbed to cancer
& every time they gather, there is one less storyteller.

Abdulbaseet Yusuff @bn_yusuff is a Nigerian writer. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Burning House Press, Kalahari Review, MoonPark Review, Memento: An Anthology Of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry, and elsewhere. He’s on Twitter @bn_yusuff. 

Banner: Untitled, a digital art work (c) by Robynne Limoges. Tweets: @LimogesRobynne

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