Echo – Franklyn Aubrey Mbale

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(For Banothire, who always tries hard)

She shrinks

Afraid of further pain, loss and the unknown

But, is that not why we all have walls, and roofs, and doors?

 

She winces

Cries for some really silly reason

Well, haven’t we all been there some point in time?

 

She drowns

Sinks in the wilderness of broken want

But, isn’t that why we all have tears?

 

She’s sad

Ashamed of what she’s made of her life

Well, were there not lessons that came to us too late?

 

She’s scared

Doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring

Somebody tell me if that’s not how we all have turned grey.

 

She yearns

Gropes about for answers that still elude

Well, who among us living doesn’t paddle that idle boat?

 

She strives

Strains to see on the other side

Well, isn’t that what makes life so funny?

 

She tries again, harder than ever

Feels she’s not played her part right

But, is that not why we all ask for second chances?

 

She believes

Thinks you are out somewhere waiting for no one else but her

But, is that not why we all have pictures from some long dead distant time to sift through?

 

Then she smiles

Sings and tells of good old days

And wonders where those sacred moments have gone

Well, don’t we all look back on our lives some days?

 

She flinches

Haunted by ghostly images of how life used to be

Fears someone might rattle the skeletons in her closet

 

She hopes

Rejoices for the sheer bliss of breathing

Well, we all have reasons to

 

She relents

Remembers all the other times she’s given it her best and lost still

Wonders just how special is this once

 

She falls silent

Regrets all the times she’s said the same things to ears not listening

Wonders why they would like to hear her story told now

 

She evades

Must have not been there when she most needed to

To understand, and to be, and to make the difference

Well, who has ever been everywhere every time?

 

True, she fears under that guise

And breaks within that smile

But, which man lived and had no such pride?

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Author: Franklyn Aubrey Mbale

Born in Lilongwe, Malawi, and famously known as Gatherwords, Franklyn works for the Ministry of Education as a teacher.