James Ogunjimi

(Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria)

Don't Tell Me We're Free


Don't judge us by the Smiling faces
And conclude we are happy.
Don't use as examples just a few cases
And say it's reality.
For Smiling faces do not mean the same as happy people,
Neither does smooth talk translate to goodwill.

Don't see the big cars we drive
And conclude we are rich.
Don't look at the clothes we have
And call us the real deal.
For big cars do not mean the same as rich men,
Neither does big clothes translate to big men.

Don't look at us 'going places'
And conclude we can soar.
Don't look at us like cheetahs running in races
And expect us to roar.
For 'going places' does not always mean it's in the right direction,
Neither does aimless running translate to eventual elevation.

Don't look at our feet without shackles
And conclude we are free.
Don't look at our faces without wrinkles
And say it's the good life we live.
For the invisibility of chains is no proof of its absence,
Neither does smooth face translate to a life of rest.

Submitted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Edited: Monday, March 24, 2014

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