Tobi Adebowale

Rookie (April 2nd / Nigeria)

An Apprentice's Song - Poem by Tobi Adebowale

On my exit today
I recall with nostalgia
My first humble step
Into your intimidating workshop
Half-trepid, half-smiling
My feet trembling
And my heart racing
Contemplating the expected.
Your experienced eyes
Shot into my timid eyeballs
Like darts
Accurately hitting the bull’s eye
I shivered within
And would have bolted
But for the assuring hands
Of my uncle
Resting warmly on my shoulders
He, with fatherly candour
Claiming with all pleasure
Told you to mould my future.

Worked to your plan
Your errands I ran
From your knowledge I tapped
Rejoiced when you clapped
Sad when your whips graced my back
With many a ruthless smack
Showing your mastery in the art
Dwarfing the energetic efforts
Of the senior apprentices.

All that is past now
For today I sing
Songs of freedom
Not from slavery
But from its similitude
Freedom from servitude
I sing a song
A song of freedom
Freedom to have an opinion
Freedom to act as a man
A new lease of life
The beginning of my future.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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