Poetry by Henrietta Enam
And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi;
which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
—Mark 5:41 KJV
This damsel, I always wonder—
Was she surprised at the reversal of her journey?
Did she arrive where we would all go after here?
Was she walking there or she was on a boat on a dark river?
A long silvery meandering river that leads to the afterlife—
I imagine. With a creaky wooden boat
And a grumpy boatman. But I can’t swim so what if it capsizes?
Can a person die twice? Wait! The damsel, yes the damsel—
Did anyone—her family, her friends, the three disciples, the gossips
Care to know of these? Of her journey? Of the adventure?
And after the food and water—did her tongue
Recognize the taste of her new life?
you do not like the sight of termites
tenaciously chewing away wood
you say it reminds you of death
is that why you hid father’s second wife’s pestle
in the damp soil
and hoped that God’s answer to your evening prayers
will be sharp mandibles at work
Henrietta Enam is a final year medical student at the University of Health and Allied Sciences. Ghana, Ho. Her writing has appeared in Tampered Press, Icefloe Press, Kalahari Review Magazine, African Global Networks, Praxis Magazine and in Anthologies.
Originally published January 25, 2022