Chukuemeka Akpe

(January 02,1962 / Lagos, Nigeria)

Innocence Lost (In Memory of Baby P)


A precious Gift
Wrought by the tenderest of Hands:
Eyes that behold love in every face,
Too pure and ignorant of evil.
Little hands stretched out for airlifts;
Childish whirls, eruptions of laughter.
Feet that patter in delight
Unable to flee from brutes.
A precious Gift
Handled by the coarsest of hands:
Ruddy cheeks smothered with slaps, not kisses.
Frizzled hair matted with cruel blows, not caressed with a comb.
Crushing bear-hugs by spineless wrestlers.
Cherubic face powdered with chocolate disguise bruises
Ever-present lacerations blamed on the quirk of Nature.
A precious Gift
Treated as a burden:
Scores of injuries
Blind carers
A blood-splattered cot.
At last,
Eternal rest.

Submitted: Monday, November 24, 2008

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