Thursday, March 23, 2017

African Immigrant – Avec ou Sans Papiers By Abimbola Lagunju (Verses from Under the Sands)

I have just made the monthly pilgrimage
to the local Western Union office,
a little of my minimum wage,
wired untied aid to my distant village.

I, an engineer in a previous life,
a yesterday-depository of dreams,
now, an unwanted faceless number,
a perennial game of vote-hunting,
an election campaign topic: to be or not to be,
if to be, in what form lower than the present form?

My footprints once traceable in the light snow of doublespeak
fade on the rocks of real politik, when
election sun melts the icing of political correctness.

I am a wrong player, in the wrong team,
on a wrong pitch,
I stand to be flagged off the field by the right,
center or their far versions,
or kept offside by the left and liberal
in this game where I am
the only foul in the field.

But in truth, I am a victim of songs,
songs of griots, songs of praise, songs of barter
of my  beef for alien cauldrons,
in turn for green hides
to clothe decrepit ancient drums.

I stand on the stark border,
stranded on the line between bondage in freedom,
and the safety of desertion…
I pause for a moment,
then step into the darkness of freedom

Back at my place of work,
I look briefly at the foreman armed with a dangerous look;
A temporary replacement for
the good old whip safely locked away? in the closet of human rights.

Please massa…..!

I pick up my shovel and repeat history.

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