Like a dawn unheralded at midnight it opened abruptly before me-a rough
circular clearing, high cliffs of deep forest guarding it in amber-tinted spell.
A long journey’s end it was though how long and from where seemed unclear,
unimportant; one fact alone mattered now-that body so well preserved
which on seeing I knew had brought me there.
The circumstance of death was vague but a floating hint pointed to a disaster in
the air elusively. But where, if so, the litter of violent wreckage? That
rough-edged gypsum trough bearing it like a dead chrysalis reposing till now in
full encapsulation was broken by a cool hand for this lying in state.
All else was in order except the leg missing neatly at knee joint even the white
schoolboy dress immaculate in the thin yellow light; the face in particular
was perfect having caught nor fear nor agony at the fatal moment. Clear-sighted
with a clarity rarely encountered in dreams my Explorer-Self stood a little
distant but somewhat fulfilled;
Behind him a long misty quest: unanswered questions put to sleep needing
no longer to be raised. Enough in that trapped silence of a freak dawn to come
face-to-face suddenly with a body I didn’t even know I lost.
R.I.P Chinualumogu Achebe
November 16, 1930 – March 21, 2013