Home Articles / Poems THREE STRAY BULLETS



I remember the day you died like it was yesterday

The birds sang in the trees and the sun came out to play like they did today

Your smile that could melt iron

Your eyes that saw passed the obvious filth that hung from everyone’s neck

When it came to chess you always had a way to check

Mate you were the child every mother wanted to have

You were the friend everyone wanted to make

Your acquaintance everyone wanted to make

That Wednesday I had just bade you goodnight

After I helped you move the equipment into the store

And you said “Promise thanks a lot, you are too much joor

See you tomorrow in the office at seven”

This was quarter passed eleven

I got to the office the next day at seven

But I didn’t see you

I got a call saying you had gone to heaven

So I couldn’t see you

Eyes weeping

Mind caving

Bones quaking

Heart aching

You see, I heard the story of how you died and it brought tears to my eyes

You had taken a cab from the road to your house

And suddenly a reckless car carrying criminals chased by the police

Drove passed

And three stray steaming hot stainless steel bullets left the nozzle of a careless gun

And rung the door bell to your heart and kicked your rib cage open

With your blood painting the wind shield

And you drowning in the red river sourced from your very heart

As you gaggled in your own blood

You mumbled the words

“Take me to the hospital”

But he was a man of little understanding so your words were very little

He thought to himself, if I took this guy to the hospital they’ll detain me and ask for a police report

And so he drove round and round looking for a police station while you fought for your life

Eventually there was a police station in sight

So he dragged your nearly lifeless corpse inside

Before the police could get the unlearned cab driver to write his own name in the name of writing a police report

Your body gave up the ghost as it was no longer yours to keep

This story made me weep

For my friend Jerry

He had just returned from London with a UK degree

Just got a nice paying job and he was 6years above nineteen

He had a bright future ahead of him but three stray bullets robbed me of him

His once radiant life has been washed away by the river of blood like debris

It only succeeded in showing me how frail life is

Like a bird that’s flown away you may never see again

Like froth in a glass of beer that disappears in an instant

Or like a melodious heart beat that’s stopped in an instant

He had ideas that could shake this world

Abilities that could shape this world

Even the angels trembled at the sight of him

Demons fled at the sound of him

But all that was cut short by three stray bullets aimed at his chest

So also have many been ended and put in a chest

No wonder a coffin is sometimes called a treasure chest

Cause they contain treasures that never left the chest

Littering their glorious bodies upon graveyards

Causing them to become one with the dust they once threaded upon

My friend’s name wasn’t Udeme but he was a great man

Never did drugs but he was always high on inspiration

The only time he was sober was when he felt your pain

But three stray bullets that left a magazine

Saw my friends face grace the obituary corner of a magazine

Three stray bullets

Detached his lungs from his gullet

And brought his life to an abrupt end

So also have the lives of many others met their end

By some three stray bullets.

by Promise Osigwe


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