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Chukuemeka Akpe

Lagos, Nigeria
Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Castaway

Out of sight
from prying dignitaries
this sprawling estate of corrugated
huts and floating bamboo mansions
epitomizes our miniaturized Soul.

In its foetid waterways
children splash uncaring
and gondolas slither across with commuters
to and fro the other side of town

where rows of opulence
compliment another across fresh bitumen
their splendour shielded from gawking
eyes by mammoth concrete veils.
Beautiful lawns are manicured by callused hands

of labourers
bred in squalid quarters of harshness
who, impervious to nature’s whims,
daily toil to eke out with smidgens.

The night’s
aglow with eruptions, seething anger and frustration,
poured out as street brawls
for urchins to prey on wearied spectators

greeted at home
by a farrago of strident music
dark cubicles
empty pots and pans.
Chukuemeka Akpe
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