And This is How We Conquer, poem by JLF Maikaho at
Ifeoluwadayo Ogunderu

And This is How We Conquer

And This is How We Conquer

written by: JLF Maikaho


Your demon has returned
I know from the way
You go to bed before dusk
Wake up just before noon
But spend the day carrying
The lethargy of insomnia

I see the way your eyes
Stare into empty space
Bearing faraway looks
As if your body is here
And you’re somewhere else

I ask you if anything’s wrong
You retort furiously
Your voice, strangled and pained
Forming incoherent sentences

Then you stop suddenly
And allow silence to reign
Your eyes, looking strained and sorry
Like someone who knows
They did something wrong
But not sure what

You beg me to leave
And when I don’t
You raise your voice, cursing
I walk even closer, reaching out for you

You push me away, trembling
You fall to the ground
I hold you tightly until your screams
Quieten to silent sobs
I feel you crumble in my arms
I feel you giving up on us

I hold on even tighter
Telling you to fight the demons
Telling you I’ll be here
Through your falls and wounds

You don’t say anything
I don’t need you to
I whisper into your ears

‘I’ll be here until you come back to me
I’ll be here until I regain you
Until we’re back as we used to be
Soul, mind, body- one whole person’

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