Africa’s Lament

She lies awake

Every night

Grieving

For her children

Crying

For her children

Dying

For her children

The white man’s knife

Carved lines in her belly

Cleaved her babies

From her womb

Drew out the twins

Held them by the ears

Raised one on sour milk

The other on lies

He flung them apart

When they tried to love each other

She cries

For her babies

For the scars

In Amadi’s thin heart

She cries

For her babies

For the dreams

Of a home Alaba’s never seen

The ancestors are angry

They scratch her until she bleeds

The heart is big

But the arms severed

By the white man’s greed

She cries

Until she trembles

For the pieces that don’t fit

For the words that don’t make sense

The havoc of letters forgotten

The harshness of their sound

The colours of her pain

Live on her skin

Live on her tongue

Like black and white rainbows

Her breasts

Her body

Grew barren out of spite

Like the preacher in Korazin

(Like Mary after the cross)

Olorun knows –

She is tired

She is fading

Her bed knows her secrets

The soil knows their names

Her love cup runs shallow

It is dry

It is wanting.

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