When #WordsAreWork approached me about reviewing the poems that’d be getting published on the site, my first instinct was delight. That was quickly swamped by hesitation, when I realized that I’d be dabbling in a genre of literature that I hadn’t quite the handle on anymore.
I embarked on my journey of writing through poetry. I still have the two hardcover notebooks I filled with poems, from the lines of love to the expressions of despair. At some point, I transitioned to prose and lost my poetic touch, but I have not failed to appreciate the beauty of wielding words and telling stories in just a few ordered lines.
And that awe I feel whenever I read such whimsical depictions of life and reality is the same emotion that took hold of me when I read One Last Chance. This work of literary art by Hadassah had all the main ingredients that characterises life – Love, Hope, Desire, Despondency at wasted moments, and a Longing for the fruition of beautiful dreams.
These are clearly the words of an ex-lover, one who is bold enough to proclaim her as-yet undying love for a man she had lost, and this coming so close to his impending nuptials. It is not a story people are wont to empathize with – I mean, we read this and we want to say, ‘Get a life’, ‘Bugger off!’ ‘He belongs to someone else now, go and get your own man.’
This ex-lover is the enemy of happily ever after, a destroyer of forthcoming marital bliss, a ‘put-assunderer’ of what God will soon join together.
We are not supposed to like her.
And yet, I did.
I felt her pain. I tasted her hope. I yearned for her love. I wanted her victory.
Such is the magic of words when you want good to come for those who are bad. Hadassah cleverly crafted a world where I rooted for the ex-lover. And as someone who has experienced heartbreak himself, and yearned for a relationship gone awry to come back to me, I could totally relate.
And those last lines of the poem…
‘One chance to realize that it’s not too late
To wish all the sadness away
And all the tears cease.
To meet our parents and their blessings obtain
One last chance to say “till death do us part”.’
…It neatly wrapped up the movie that the entire poem called up in my mind. As I read it, I saw a wedding ceremony in progress. I saw a woman in the pew watching with anguish as the bride floated down the aisle to the side of the man she wanted to be with. And with every word of the marriage vows that fell from the lips of the bride, this woman in the pew echoed them, seeing herself in the bride’s place, standing there, looking up at the man they both loved.
I’ve always been of the opinion that a writer’s winning point is when he/she is capable of giving life to his/her words in the mind of a reader. And One Last Chance more than adequately did so.
Written by Walter Uchenna Ude
Walter is an award winning Nigerian Writer, Poet and Veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word, the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He writes at http://www.mymindsnaps.com/.
If you have written a poem you would like read at ‘Poets’ Thursday’, send it in a mail titled ‘Poets’ Thursday’ to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unsure about a subject matter but want to be read still, send me an email too and we can work up something appropriate for you. It does not have to be right, left, or wrong … just your poem.