Writing About a Broken Boy – By Jerry Agbenu

How do you console a boy who has

lost his innocence to an event

buried in guilt?

do you bring a mirror to show him

that change is the altar on which he

sacrificed his boyhood to understand

his body. his people & his country?

do you build him a nest where he can hide

& honor the memories of his childhood

without feeling foolish?

do you soften his bones by reminding him

that death is an element of growth & growth

is an element of living?

or you help stretch his voice into a sound

large enough to cover his ears from

hearing whenever his guilt speaks?

How do you console a boy who has

lost his innocence to an event

buried in guilt?

do you bring a mirror to show him

that change is the altar on which he

sacrificed his boyhood to understand

his body. his people & his country?

do you build him a nest where he can hide

& honor the memories of his childhood

without feeling foolish?

do you soften his bones by reminding him

that death is an element of growth & growth

is an element of living?

or you help stretch his voice into a sound

large enough to cover his ears from

hearing whenever his guilt speaks?

Bio: Jerry Agbenu is a Ghanaian poet and writer. His poems have featured in literary magazines such as kpodola, Kalahari Review, Eunoia Review, Tampered Press and many others. His debut pamphlet ‘By the Fireside’ was published by Libros Agency in 2018. He is also the curator of ‘to grow in two bodies’, a collection of poems and short stories from 35 poets and writers. You can follow his works on Twitter

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