Epistolary about the Birds

Olalekan Daniel Kehinde

By Olalekan Daniel Kehinde

on the head of green hopes nested

whits of weeds towering into empires;

small colonies carving circumferences

of warmth, bordered landmarks.

son, brave beaks formed these homes

with veiny bones from skeletal trees.

the birds, they sheathe themselves

with branched greens like an ambushed army,

they circumcise the fruiting apples

and leave dimples on their buttocks;

son, this is how you know that

they’ve been here before—mark the apples.


at times, they perch at the caving mouth

of your roof till the anger of heaven stops,

rainbow must covenant with the sky lest

the birds break their wings in storms & floods.

son, see, the sun prematures into night

and branches flutter in hurrying torrents,

they have come, look, denizens

dying not to get wet. little witty wings

coursing through the wavering waves,

beating the storms, caving in a roof’s mouth.

son, this is is how you know that

they’ve been here: they peel their flesh off.

OLALEKAN DANIEL KEHINDE is a writer. He has a top entry essay in the National Students Write Hack 2020, Longlisted in NSPP 2020, Shortlisted in FPC, PIN 2020, Finalist in NNDP 2020, and Winner of BPPC Feb-March 2021. His poems have appeared (or forthcoming) in PIN Anthologies, Peace Exhibits Journal, African Writers Magazine, Inkspired, and lots more. He is on Instagram and Twitter as @dapenmustgrow