Orphan Song

By Kayo Chingonyi

When night is at its ripeness
I think of the songs they’ll play
at my funeral. For all I know death
is like watching a landscape dissolve
through the window of an overheating
coach, bound for the nearest airport.

And if passing out of this life
is like passing through check-in
to be felt up by surly officials,
being carried aloft in a wooden box
must be like pushing back on a runway;
entering the next life like landing.

Who will greet me when I alight?
Will my parents be standing there,
reconciled, glancing at their watches,
with Kenta, rid of his jaundiced glow,
and the twins, grown to their full height?


From A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi published by The Random House Group Ltd. Reproduced by permission of The Random House Group Ltd.