in my room, I sing to the pictures
of my dead father, who died from
a disease that came from his mind.
i tell him how far I’ve come.
i tell him how much he’s missed.
i tell him how colourful my dreams are.
some teardrops and a gulp of rum
lead the way as a bedraggled ritual
before the heathen song is sung.
once upon a time, it was sung by me—
and my mother who struggled to sound happy enough
for the song not to come from two sad hearts.
I look to the right side of the room,
there are cobwebs in the corner
and a bouquet of flowers I bought yesterday.
sometimes, even love comes for the forgotten.
Pat Ashinze is an Ibo-Yoruba hybrid. He trained as a medical doctor and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, where he won the Inaugural Students Union Poetry Prize in 2019 as an undergraduate. Pat writes prose, poetry and everything you can think of except journalistic articles. His works have appeared and are forthcoming in TERSE. Journal, Arts Lounge Magazine, Aayo Magazine, Chicago Lit, KAIROS Literary Magazine, Kalahari Review, vox poetica etc. He was a finalist for the 2021 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize. He was also a finalist for the 2021 World NTD Day Storytelling Competition. He won the 2021 Wingless Dreamer Midnight Poetry Contest. Pat currently resides in Southwestern Nigeria.