THE GHOST OF MY FATHER’S FRIEND

i would’ve… been a goldsmith
…forged metals into shapes.
…mended irons.
maybe mended people and their broken souls.
but i am, today, haunting ghosts.

singing of childhood
we lived in a house that belonged to a dead man —
my father’s good friend — who died a virgin.
at his death bed, he asked we moved in to his house.
his sepulchre stood not far from the garden
and this owl came each night perching on the petit–cross in his tombstone
and dropping pellets on his epitaph until the only word left bare was “thaumaturge”

he was a goldsmith, there in his house.
so he forged his name at the threshold of his workshop
and the padlock, senile… like a rusty iron waiting for forgery
below his crested name was a warning: “only priests are allowed inside”
came a memory of charlie priest’s “the agony house”
my father was not a priest, nor was his wife
except being librarians of an old library in our county,
they were nothing.

but that friday night, i became the priest my parents had feared to be
to open the door that’s been locked for who knows decade
the door to the house where i haunted my first ghost — my father’s friend

About the Author


Kalu Amah, formerly published as Siza Amah, from Amamiri Ihechiowa, Abia state, was raised in Aba, Nigeria. He teaches African poetry and performance at Osiri University. He is a member of the Aba Poetry Club. His writings include poetry, travelogues, short stories, and reviews. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Dreich Magazine, MahMag, DisQuiet Art, and others. His poems were featured in the Anthology of Covid-19 Pandemic World on the Brinks. His Julius Caesar Dramatic Monologue has toured round many states and in many events in Nigeria including the Dike Chukwumerijes Night of Spoken Word, Abuja; Enugu Literary Festival; TEDx Asata, and many other literary gathering.

Ngiga
editor@ngigareview.com
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