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(20-11-1984 / Onitsha, Anambra State)

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No Requiem For Youths Agitating For War

What good are flowers
At the waiting arm of the girls
Whose bride-price is denied?
Candles would be lit
Not in the hands of youths,
But their fathers and wailing mothers
Who are yet to wake from the slumber
Of yesterwar: another would be disastrous.
It is worst when parents
Bury their hope for a better
Tomorrow in a shallow grave
By the roadside or on the field;
Some may not even see the bodies
Feasted on by ugly and hungry vultures
Or unrecognized bloated black bodies
On which no prayer is said
And no songs except the tata-tata-tata
Of an angry smoking gun
Making mockery of the bells
And choirs at the cathedral.

No requiem for youths agitating for war,
No sound would be heard,
Nor a funeral note, no epitaphs,
No single shot except it that fell them.
For each step towards tomorrow is laden
With the pangs of pregnancy
And each moment a waiting
For the curtain to fall, yet,
It is in the house of the coward
That we always stand to point
At the house of the valiant.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Edited: Friday, January 31, 2014


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