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WHO ARE HAPPY PEOPLE? (a poem by Enobong Ernest Enobong)

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 when i was younger,
 i never asked who happy people are.

 i knew them.

 there was a tycoon who lived on our crescent.
 who threw parties
 that fed our entire town to stupor thrice every year.

 there was my old classmate…
 A-costumed academic reports
 from elementary school through college.

 i never had to ask.
 i knew what happy people are like.

 few years later,
 i read in a local paper,
 that the valedictorian
 of a prestigious university had –
 two days after his graduation ceremony –
 prepared poison like beverage
 and mailed it to his intestines.
 i heard that before cockcrow one day,
 a powerful monarch
 had gone to seek solace at seabed…
 to rinse the burden of breath off his lungs.
 and that a popular comedian
 had suspended his own body on a wire
 tethered to a cashew tree in his courtyard.
 leaving his brand, his edifice, and a piece of paper…
 "i hope i find happiness outside this world… away from this place."
 who are happy people?
 what makes happiness?
 every night, when i drive past the slums,
 i see a family of emaciated orphans.
 who have their bedrooms on tarpaulins and cartons
 under the old bridge.
 i see them. everyday.
 always smiling…
 tossing their alms-bowls with relish.
 what makes happiness?
 who are happy people?

Enobong Ernest Enobong is a Nigerian Poet, Haikuist and Essayist.