An African Evening
Blunder of a father
Failure of a mother
With bleak future
They look to me with pitiful eyes.
I see that little girl
Sitting on a stool by the road.
She is shouting
'Cold pure water! '
She wants me to buy
Hydrogen dioxide in
a polythene sachet
But I have no money.
I ignore her shrills
And concentrate on the road
Okada riders try to shunt traffic
Then the accident occurs.
Bits of flesh
Coagulating spleen matter
Is she dead?
Apparently the head is hit
And the tommy torn open
The rescuers come hurrying away
From the goof they'd been smoking
Up and help
The skirmish stuns me.
I look away
To the shops over there.
I see a fat woman
Standing before the yam seller.
The seller tries to phoneticize
She frames her lips for the offensive
Terry naira ownly pleez
What are you saying?
Asks a disgusted buyer
The seller had thought
It was a contest
Buyer refuses to speak vernacular
Seller must follow suit
After all, she too had some schooling
Only that the cruel hands
Of ugly destiny
Kept her behind yams each evening.
You say tarty naira?
Do you want to sell at all?
Seller does not know if
The quarrel is with cost
Cancel phoneticization, the cheaper
Of the two and see the result
O bu naira iri ato
Give me two
That will be sixty naira.
Clearly the quarrel had been
No one wants you to be somebody
Slavery the livelong day.
I look at the sky
Is God there at all?
No need to worry about him anyways.
So I concentrate on my thoughts.
Africa is like that evening
Like the girl shrilling
About cold water
Like the okada rider trying
To shunt traffic
Like the fat woman hating English in
A seller's mouth
Like me with no money in
My back pocket wallet.
They say the black man
Has no soul
Rather I should say
The black soul
Has no man.
Do you get my point
Or should I write a treatise first?
samuel nze's Other Poems
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