Sometimes ago in the course of my business startout, I met a real time old couple whose life and time fascinate me a lot.
So, in our next poem titled: 'The Business Register', I reflected on them and their numerous adventures and misadventures as often is the case with most marital endeavours.
I meditated particularly on the widow who turned out to be quite the opposite of what widow-hood should be or represent.
While I leave no one in doubt as to what my feelings, convictions and attitudes are towards her; I hope, however, that my portrayal of her existential foibles is fair, balance and objective.
In any case you're welcome if you think otherwise, for it is fair like they use say in love and in war.
They were your ideas of a dignified old couple,
Perfect perceptible to eyes,
Index by conservative piety;
There’s a matrimony in heaven consummated you say.
Needles the overstated narratives the sail was long
And arduous and many a storm swift
Arose to wreck their marital ship; Survived,
Now they proudly berthed at life nocturnal shores.
And subsequent a household name the community wide.
They were your standard reflections of the cross;
Mouthpieces of the good news;
They worshiped faithfully as the clock:
Many at the marble-porch parishes;
Many at their humble home;
And not a little nags or fight or bedlam was heard from their floor.
Except perhaps omniscient nature do record some
Behind closed door, of hearts bruising unseen, untold.
The proud parents of lovely sons and daughters;
Perfumed emissaries to our stuffy-aired world;
And how as morning stars they brightly shone through
Firmaments of social and religious engagements;
Like they use to say, to know a great family,
Into the children all must look. The husband
A perfect gentleman widely likable,
Who kept an open door to children not even his from far and near;
Even wayward nondescript were welcome;
And at his table he feed them equal all; Quick with rod
At his right hand to prove justice is love to their aberrations;
And with the left draws them close for soothing sermons;
A good man known also gospel by inheritance: His dwelling,
Though a small home with walls unbuilt;
And bath and kitchen
And detached crude convenience unroofed;
And ventured borehole and chairs and canopies now on threshold disrepair;
Like they use to say,
A man who raised himself a room apartment,
Has proved an achievers’ grade,
Ceases to be a member of the renters' club.
But sudden died, first, Lord of the house as is often the case;
When from vigil an ailment struck to cast in haste;
And tributary wailing and mourning rend the chamber's air;
Next entered widow Shoboe as heir apparent to estates bequeathed;
A dame hearty lightly built to sail with all winds;
For whatever they were worth, she has her honors too:
As sings the Sunday's choir a dancing Ikoto;
A leading light among the class of good women;
An ever charming sight for her years advanced;
Her gifts munificent she bestows more on the haves
Than the haves not; while a typical widow would her failings blame
On a dear deceased, wax lyrical his multitude of virtues,
Lineage; such alive rarely acknowledge; shrewdly appreciate.
Accentuating the truism: "till gone don’t know what you have got".
But Shoboe is an atypical widow who by the day more disgruntled became.
Piping to ears unsolicited her vexed notes of ascending murmurs:
Of how meagre the patrimonies, empty the vault;
Of how little accomplished her suggestions profound never took;
Of how once he brought a strange woman, their matrimonial bed defiled;
Of how she could have been history, save God and man;
Of how the union really was a patchwork through the years;
And of how-this how-that poorly fixed never fixed;
Often all these she spit fired faced down the narrow balcony
Where beloved Kith and Kin hollowed the dead a marbled rest home;
Not even once did his paean sublime from her mouth freely flowed;
His fate sealed a worst mortal of all, unworthy a husband;
Now five years the thriftless dowager reigned;
Her stewardship to none but self alone rendered;
As ever a working bee save the hive's empty;
Pouched the year's round rents and rates collected;
And in defaulters ears the reminder she crooned
On the go dusk or dawn; in trade all rivalling,
Even tenants struggling starters;
Every known article, she vowed to trade
In not too distant future; Inquire one not on her wooden-stall
And with lightning speed ordered, bungling yet the arithmetic
Of the gains; at threescore and more life seemed just began
And in it simply revels; a party freak her ears everywhere
Went for the breaking news; denied invitation the concerned
Mantle sooner arrived with her grievances. Their plea accepted;
Her avail next time she vouched. So consumed to splurge on
Things mundane that not a line or circle or square drawn.
Nor a shade of color splashed;
Nor a brick added as improved re-inventions to the wheel-heirloom
She's been so critical, mauled denigrate all these years.
NOTE: Ikoto is a shell of some mollusc.