Easter Dawn by Kofi Awoonor

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That man died in Jerusalem

And his death demands dawn marchers

From year to year to the sound of bells.

The hymns flow through the mornings

Heard on Calvary this dawn.

the gods are crying, my father’s gods are crying

for a burial – for a final ritual –

but they that should build the fallen shrines

have joined the dawn marchers

singing their way towards Gethsemane

where the tear drops of agony still freshen the cactus.

He has risen! Christ has risen!

the gods cried again from the hut in me

asking why that prostration has gone unheeded.

The marchers sang of the resurrection

That concerned the hillock of Calvary

Where the ground at the foot of the cross is level.

the gods cried, shedding

clayey tears on the calico

the drink offering had dried up in the harmattan

the cola-nut is shrivelled

the yam feast has been eaten by mice

and the fetish priest is dressing for the Easter service.

The resurrection hymns come to me from afar

touching my insides.

Then the gods cried loudest

Challenging the hymners.

They seized their gongs and drums

And marched behind the dawn marchers

Seeking their Calvary

Seeking their tombstones

And those who refused to replace them

In the appropriate season.

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