I HEARD A SOFT CRY IN THE NIGHT

I heard a soft cry in the night
And knew not where it came from
Through the open window
It floated in on a warm summer’s night

Just one cry, soft and intense
And short it shuddered the night
Like a single pulse of night’s heartbeat
Swallowed up in echoless suspense

I knew not if it was a cry of pain
A cry for help, of fear or of liberty
Or if it was a cry of crowned ecstasy
Of one in pleasure and passion lain

It spoke of terror and sang of delight
A mystery that revealed neither where nor why
All I knew was that it was the soft cry
Of some woman’s voice in the night.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

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