SIGNS OF A LOST HOME
Dilapidated graves housing dead flowers
Welcoming ghosts at dawn,
Singing songs we are yet to learn.
A broken family portrait
With many faces floating;
Others faded with the storm.
A heap of stones- two heaps actually,
One- a grave that existed before anyone was born;
The second; stones that held the family house before the storm.
A small leaking hut
Harboring a frail old woman;
A floor that reeks of stale cow dung/darkness/ wetness/ loneliness.
A young girl, the old woman’s only visible grandchild,
Eating smoke for breakfast
Her heels harboring passages, trying to trace her lost
Uncles/aunties/sisters/brothers and herself.
A missed phone call,
A dead line;
Musky voices that faces can no longer be put to.
A flickering light by the window early in the night
Promising girls of dreams, broken dreams and homes,
Teaching boys to stay hungry.
A lone granary holding cobwebs of memories
Of feet that came and left,
And children who learnt to walk away but never returned.
Charlotte Akello is a Ugandan poet and writer. Her two poems were featured in 2017 FEMRITE anthology Wondering and Wandering of Hearts’. Her haiku was also shortlisted for the 2017 Babishai Haiku Award. She was featured in the writivism@5 anthology Odokonyero and her story was the title story. She has also been featured in Writer’s Space Africa and was recently among the top ten Briggite Poirson Poetry contest. She is currently a medical student at Makerere University.