“At the Obituary of My Aunt” by Yvonne Nezianya

Image by bernswaelz from Pixabay

AT THE OBITUARY OF MY AUNT Sitting in the first pew of the St Luke’s Parish, I watch the choir sing hymns that command me to submerge myself in thoughts of oblivion and nothingness. It makes me wonder the real reason eyes are expelling emotions around me: because hearts have been won by the soprano of the hat-wearing purple-clothed black lady leading an orchestra of symphonies, or because the tears-shedding that commenced three months ago at the hospital bed on the day of her ascension was insufficient to appease her spirits and seal her body to the ground. My aunt lays in a posh-looking white coffin situation just in front of me. It appears more expensive than the life she had lived and she looks prettier than ever before in her stiff, fair skin adorned with diamond jeweleries and a white elegant dress. Before her demise, her right breast fed milk to the wrong cell until it grew into the size of a handball and fought to take control, colonizing other organs while the doctors fought to gain back authority. Her wealthy husband screams when it is time for the undertakers to dance with her in death. He (and every one else) screamed when the doctor asked for money to win the war.

Yvonne Nezianya is a young Nigerian writer, (performance) poet and final year student of Health Education at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She writes to tell silenced stories of young girls and people facing mental health issues. Her short story, Wonders of Spirits, was shortlisted for the K and L Prize 2020.  Her works have appeared in the Micah Anthology by Poets in Nigeria, Black Skin No Mask, Ethereal, The African Writers Review

and elsewhere. Connect with her on Instagram @yvonnenezy_writes and twitter @nezi_yvonne.

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