Tug-War - Poem by Goodness Tchibueze
Watching these children
Buried in this war
To loosen from the firm
Grip of contraction
And to fortify their flames,
I see them
Into two equal
Parties: each party
Makes a chain of themselves
By girding each other's waists
With their hands, as their fingers
Lock firmly inbetween the other.
With their captains at the forefront,
Each chained parties
Faces the other
A thin line which separated
And made them two sides apart;
One captain proffers
His firmly locked hands
To the other captain who seizes Them.
Both parties start to drag
Each other across the line
Energetically, to either sides...
Like some men given inward eyes and legs
To peruse and wander about their past
Or future, i see dull figures
Of two parties dragging something.
I can not make out who they are;
Or why they engage themselves;
Or exactly what they are dragging,
Except that like a kite flown in the air
At the end of a long string
I have flown atop the scene,
Watching and capturing things from there:
The party on the right wore
The other on the left wore
With their captains at the forefront.
I see myself on the thin line, inbetween
Both parties, being dragged by my
Hands which were parted sideways
Back and forth, back and forth.
... As either parties drag one or two
Opponents to either side and make slaves of them,
The joyful roars arising
Return my senses, flying me
Back in the roaring joy.
Smiling and rejoicing with the winning
Parties, i think this war always
Give this eye to me like the after-swellings
Of the insects' sting on the flesh.
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