Poetry by Elizabeth Johnson


The rain exposes the weakness that a building stands on.
It gathers in small circles filling up the holes in the fading paths.
When we walk, we remember what it means to be careful,
avoiding the gathered splashes like a plaque
pretending it is not there until the sun sucks it all up
and the road is another faded version of its old self.

When you fall, you begin to question everything that led you to this point.
The rise is swift, hands clasping like the sound of rain beating the weary soil,
dusting off the memory of a calamity that must quickly be forgotten.
A smile exposes a person’s soul. It echoes in waves expressing delight but leaving after it,
the truth hanging heavy over our heads.

Yesterday, you spent the late hours of the night wondering about the decisions you made.
Age has taught you that letting out your own rain only breeds space for more.
So you save your tears for social demands or let them out in other forms
in words,
in sighs,
in sleep,
in sin.

Last night, before your wandering mind gave in to sleep, you saw yourself as a child again
laughing genuinely,
splashing your feet in the puddles,
running out to feel the products of the pouring sky,
falling and immediately letting out a glorious cry.
Peace comes to you in that moment, so quickly and then fading you away into sleep.


You will find me sitting and pondering over it all.
Eyes staring into the emptiness the soul consumes in pursuit of something whole.
Like random raindrops on a sunny day,
I stop to consider…This journey I travel
But with voices that become home and faces that freeze with the aging of time.

Who knows what may become of me?
Perhaps I might end up expired but still here, waiting for breath to run out of itself.
Perhaps matters will be taken into its own hands giving way to a youthful exit.

Who knows what may become of us?
Unlearning things that have lived us this far
Learning things that will fade us out.

Where are we going?
When will it end?
Why is it an unforgivable thing to take the life given without permission?


Elizabeth Johnson is a writer and researcher. Her writing, both fiction and nonfiction, have been published in print and online. 
In 2017, her short story won the Random Story Competition. In 2019, she won 3rd place prize for the Kofi Awoonor Literary Prize. 
In 2020, her co-curated animation concept won the Digital Lab Africa Animation category. She spends her free time working with the Writers Project of Ghana, Flash Fiction Ghana and the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD). She has a degree in English and Music from the University of Ghana. She works as a researcher and project lead with Dr. Monk.