We heard the cry no more
Today it was silent as a grave
The bitter smell of death filled the air
Perhaps if we had knocked
Every other night before this quiet tuesday
The noise, the cry, the wailings was there.
The shattering sounds of broken china
The noise of pictures falling off the wall.
Mr Femi is beating his wife again.
Little Alice is crying as usual,
And Daniel is shouting amidst his tears, Daddy please stop!!!
Of course I hear the cry and the shouting of the woman,
Mr Femi’s flat is right above mine.
I roll over and cover my ears with my pillow,
And pretend to sleep
Well, just like everyone in this compound.
Afterall it’s their private business and this is Lagos!
Today we didn’t hear her cry for so long,
The cry was short,lingered on for a bit
And we heard it no more.
We are all dressed in black as good neighbors.
Daniel and baby Alice have lost their mother
We could have knocked
We could have helped her
Perhaps she should have left him
We were bad neighbors
We could have done something
We could, we could!