The world stands statue-still, and men, locked away in their cocoons, have listened to its eloquent silence. We have retreated to our fortress against this unseen enemy, where we measure laughter in small doses. No one would have conceived, handshakes and hugs could be death warrants, and war can be fought without weapons. We've searched our hearts for smoulder friends left behind. We've reignited our passions. We under- stand keeping distance whispers: "I love you" more than kisses and cuddles, because it means staying safe for those we love. Though the war wages on, we're hopeful, like dormant seeds in the dry season soil awaiting the first rain, these dark days will be over, and our lives restored.
Emmanuel Udoma is a medical student with an interest in creative writing. Whenever he’s not flipping through the pages of medical textbooks, he finds himself introspecting on new ideas for his poems or short stories. He was a joint winner for the 2019 edition of Memoirs of Nigerian University Students (MONUS), and was shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize 2018. He has been published in some literary platforms and anthologies including ANA Review 2018, Mixed History (NSPP 2017), Citadel of Words (BPPC 2018), MONUS Anthology 2.0, Naija book of Diabetes Stories, etc.