Settling Down

Remember that restaurant by the roadside
Daddy used to take the family to?
Drop In it was called.
Such beautiful stories I could tell
And make up from my days there.
I knew happiness and how it smelled
Of roasted akonfem as it would waft
Through the cool evening air of Sunyani.
My earliest memory of you is here.

It was at Drop In that daddy asked:
“What do you want to become in future?”
I said soldier. He smiled with a father’s pride
And pointed to the table to my left.
The place where some soldiers had gathered
To have their own Friday night fun.
Daddy walked over to them and invited me over.
I was sure about you then.
You came to me in camouflage,
So I chose soldier.

There was that time you led me
To the playground where I toyed
With the idea of being president.
But mummy said she’d disown me.
She didn’t suffer all this
To raise no damned politician!
I think I agreed. Eventually.
She was rather gracious
When I thought of becoming a footballer.
Maybe it had something to do with the Essien boom.
I dawdled the number 7 on the back
Of that superstitiously favourite red shirt of mine.
Faded. I loved it still. Just like you.
Fading along the green of the grass
And turning brown before I could reach the goal post.
You’ve always been sly that way.

Perhaps your sliest moment
Was when you convinced me
That lawyering was the devil’s errand
And journalism was poverty’s badge of honour.
Yet you turned around and asked me to chase you.
And somehow after everything else, I did.
Becoming a lawyer and a journalist in my sleep.
When I woke up though, you had taken off. Again.
When I woke up, I was a boy. Again.
Confused. Again. So I wanted to chase you
All over the world, in a fancy suit
Earned from a fancy degree from an Ivy League.
But here I am. **Inserts smile**

You are so charming and so cunning.
Aren’t you? You have me running around
Like a mad man and a fool
And yet I am not in love.
Or maybe I am. With you.
Or just the presence of your wind.

These days I feel like I know. You know?
Like I will finally catch up to you. Soon.
One of these days I will wake in your arms and you in mine.
That I will walk to the balcony
And look over the sea, coffee in hand, smiling…
I will say I made it. I finally settled down, with my dreams.
I have a memory of you now. It’s not from the restaurant
Where I think you first came to me.
It’s from the future.
A place where I am everything I’m meant to be.
A place where we are finally together:
Me and my dreams.

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Published by: Akyempo

i met the Priest...i realised that though society seems to respect the baker and despise the shepherd, the baker is not happy despite his stability and the shepherd is free to pursue the pyramids, because he is a dreamer; and one day he will meet Fatima. I am the boy; the shepherd.

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