An Elegy – Part 8 By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.
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(For Rev.-Col. Eugene Boapea Boamah Sintim[-Brown], Aka Kwaku Brown,

Retired Chaplain-General of the Ghana Armed Forces, 1941-2017)

 

When Wofa Panyin,

your elder brother,

passed on,

I shed

just a little

tear –

though fairly

well-heeled

and quite capable

of reaching out

to us,

my siblings

and me,

he lived

cocooned

by himself

and his brood

like an oasis

in a vast

desert

expanse…

none of his

clansfolk

could visit

his house

save those of

his wife’s;

she had

a very ironic

name,

like the Democratic

Republic of

Korea or

The Congo,

which are no

democracies

at all,

but veritable

and

anachronistic

hereditary

monarchies

fixated

on the phallic

symbols

of firepower…

Auntie Mercy

was her name,

which was

a joke,

for she was

the unkindest

of all

our

in-laws;

legend had it,

though my mom

thought

she had been

forced to it

by a

hostile

clan

to mount

her steely fence

against

the same…

yes,

when

Wofa Panyin

or Braa Panyin

passed on

in Deutschland,

I barely shed

a tear,

he had not

invested

anytime and

affection

in our lives…

still,

one day,

almost

out of the blue,

a massive fit

of sorrow

gripped

my throat,

and I found

myself weeping

silly torrents

of tears

for what I

thought

was a fit

of madness

from nowhere;

maybe

it had something

to do

with the fact

of us being

kin by

blood,

after all,

thus his death

meant

a reduction

of my

strength

and

joy…

it has been said

even the most

depraved

have their day

of recall,

I recalled

that single day

he gave me

a ride

in his

Hillman

which he came back

from London

with;

I sat in

Mama’s laps…

we were

trudging home

from the farm

on the bourne

between

Bomaa and

Kwabeng;

I was

a first grader,

it was a

great relief,

Auntie Mercy

was not

with him,

else

he would have

shot

right past

us like

a sling-shot,

and we would

have walked

all three miles

home,

sweating

profusely

like

Boti Falls,

sweating profusely

like we were

being cooked

alive,

streams

of sweat

in the sweltering

heat…

when news

of Wofa Panyin’s

passing

reached us here

in New York,

my mother

literally

cried her eyes

out,

I couldn’t

understand

why,

I also

couldn’t care

less then;

but somehow,

it still made

a bit

of sense

to me;

after all,

hadn’t he

been her

elder brother

dear…

for me,

though,

Wofa Panyin

had been

a total

stranger

at best,

at the worst

just another man

routinely

felled by

death –

7/26/17

(RIP)