Tribute to Bewaji Michael
Sickle-shaped cells, life-shortening culprits
Altered amino acid sequence
– funereal physiological anomaly
Nagging episodes of inexpressible bone unease
Countless sleepless nights
– so usual it turned normal
“Crisis” the physician tagged it
Till the final episode…
But why of all ages, 27?
And why of all days, November 27?
Why of all pages in Guyton, 427?
Or why in Harper’s, 627?
A profound curse on you, Valine
Thou usurper of the sixth position
An undiluted anathema on you, Glutamic acid
Why relinquish your biological inheritance?
Abundance of imprecations on you, Sixth position
Why be the venue for such lethal transactions?
Why not rather be vacant
– as in the chronicle of clotting factors?
Why did death’s chilled, congealed palms
Extract him from his life of hopes and dreams
– into sudden, immortal silence?
The tears shall roll for aye
Save I condole my frigid soul
Saying, “Life’s too short…
…for a long story”
Dedicated to Bewaji Michael, a bosom friend who died of a crisis courtesy of sickle cell anaemia on the 27th of November, 2010.
The biological explanation for sickle cell is the replacement of the amino acid glutamic acid by valine responsible for the attendant ordeal of the condition.
Rest in peace, Michael, R.I.P.