The Wake: A Poem by Justus Ize


I have no idea what that sound was, but it was loud enough to wake me from my slumber. My chest hurts a lot, but what is more important is finding out where I am. My vision is becoming clearer, but I still do not seem to recognize anything. Not even the weeping strangers lying across the room. They creep me out. Why are they crying? Why are they here? More importantly, why am I here? Am I being kidnapped? Oh God! Why can I not remember anything?

“Hello? Hello?” Why are they not answering?

“Please talk to me. I do not know where I am. Where is this place? What is this place? How did I get here?” Still no response.

“HOW DID WE GET HERE?” I finally scream with frustration and tears already in my eyes, and it seems to cause a reaction as everywhere becomes like a graveyard.

“Hello?” a voice from a distance.

“Hello?” I answer, trying to pave my way through to the owner of the voice, who might give me a clue to this uncanny event. I stagger but regain my balance. I could have sworn I stepped on liquid, but every step thence is wet and splashy.

“You do not remember, do you?” The voice continues, making me halt. I can see him lurking in the shadows; I can also hear drops of water falling to the already wet floor.

“Remember what? I just woke up and do not remember a thing. Please where am I?”

The voice replies, almost with pain this time, “I do not know. I came, and I saw. Now you have come…” He steps out of the shadows. I can clearly see the young boy holding his guts out with his hands, blood dripping. It is not water. “Now you have seen,” he finally concludes. I stagger backward, tripping on another victim. He rises, and I can see his brains are blown-out, hanging down behind his head with nothing but a thread. The other men and women, young boys and girls rise up, revealing horrible fresh wounds and staring at me. We lie in nothing but a pool of blood. They seem to slowly gather me with a seemingly unending number. I cannot take it anymore. This frightening sight. I am having a heart attack. I try to hold my chest … WHERE IS MY HEART? My hand is trembling to the touch of the emptiness.

Then the second gunshot shouted POO! POO! POO! The crowd went down, silent again like obedient dogs to its master, and that was when I saw her from a distance, rising from the same spot I woke and uttering the same words I did.


About the Poet

Born in a family of six on the 30th of March 1999 in Lagos, but from Edo state, Justus Ize is a graduate of mass communication in Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State. While he majored in public relations and advertising, he worked as a graphics designer, scriptwriter, and comic book artist. He seeks to explore his talents as an actor and model. He is 6-foot-5 tall, dark-skinned. Drawing has always been his hobby alongside acting. His motto is, “Though patience tarries, its fruit is sufficient.”

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