The Day You Walked Away

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Have you ever seen a twig
dry and frail – tossed about by wind
on the river bank?

I was, the day you walked from me:
an apple tree you had tended
and plucked daily as the sun slept.

I emptied your letters in a kiondo
walked down the river
and left them on the banks

to be swept by high tide.
But went back early morning – afraid to lose
your images forever

and found them soaked but not swept.
A man had squatted where they lay
and left a mound – like a guava stump.

I watched beetles fight over dung balls
they had rolled, only to trip and
lose their day’s struggle to the river.

I bent and picked the scattered letters,
your imprint stared large and straight.
February 2007 was the date

on the top right-hand margin, and below –
your confession of undying bond,
‘Ever yours’, at the bottom.

How could you? I threw them to the river
My ribs ache now – broken,
but I refuse to follow them into the river.


© COVER PHOTO: Alexlinde


About Author

Richard Oduor Oduku (@RichieMaccs) is a poet and writer. He studied Biomedical Science and Technology at Egerton University. He works, as a Research Consultant, and lives in Nairobi. His work has been published in Jalada Africa, Saraba Magazine, Storymoja, San Antonio Review, among others. He is a founding member of Jalada Africa (a pan-African writer’s collective), Hisia Zangu (a writer’s and art society), and a board member at Youth on the Move (YoTM) Kenya.


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