blank

In response to a one-word prompt

rose

“It won’t take long” he promised
Looking quite confident
“She is a strong one” he added
She smiled, beaming at the compliment
Her beautiful face dimpled at the sides
She has got a beautiful smile

She had chosen the lovely Ankara
With the floral patterns. The gown,
It fits her well, she knows.
I laid it on the bed
It won’t take long they promised

It’s time. They came for her
All looking very dapper in white,
With cute caps perched atop their heads
She insisted on walking to the room
They wouldn’t let her
Gently they coerced her to lie on it

Her laughter filled the narrow corridor
As they pushed her towards the room
A slight pause and I ran to her
She smiled brightly, I held her tightly
“I will be fine”, she laughed
“It’s just a simple procedure”
“It won’t take long”, she promised

“Pray for me,” she said and squeezed my hand
“I will”, I whispered, “You will be fine”
“It won’t take long” I promised

They kept to their promise
It didn’t take long, but the pain did
They brought her out unsmiling
She was wheeled out not laughing
It didn’t take long at all, but the ache did
She stopped moving, she won’t wear
Her lovely, floral Ankara gown anymore

It didn’t take them long to wheel her out
But not the same way she went in
She came out stiff, pale and frozen
She wouldn’t stop staring unblinkingly
Yes, she could only offer a blank stare
At the world, at me…
It didn’t take long, it was a promise.

 

by Amaka Paul

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