(Remembrance day 2018)
You rested your head and fell asleep.
The weeping oars – bathing in the choppy seas
Where salt and blood mingled in
With the fears of those drowning:
Chained and thrown in
To save weight against the waves –
They didn’t wake you.
When the shackles came
And in steel thick bound wrists and throats,
Their cutting coats hemming away
the paradise they were stealing.
Selling nothing but stinging songs
And enforced kneeling.
Peeling the skins of their rebels – freedmen
(I’ve seen the groves swung axes make on stone)
Yet you stayed on your throne
They made my grandfather a chief,
My other grandfather a signal operator,
Gave them both homes and clothes
Then forcefully stole their brother and sons
To fight wars across the globe.
Fear was dropped in like ancient bombs
On fresh widows and fatherless ones.
And those that returned,
Like dead men,
Wished the ocean had taken them.
The sparrow and the lily were clothed
But their sons were left naked –
Chained in cold concrete cattle pods by the coast.
The old soldiers were drunk on the sap from banana leaves:
Grief in free reign,
like blustering winds on our falling sails
And yet you sleep!
The shackles were swapped for long silk tethers:
Bondage was given a different name –
Baptised in holy water and uploaded onto the cloud,
Fortified in unseen signals
From the WiFi hubs they installed.
Thinking they were free,
Our daughter tried to sing;
Our sons tried to fly.
Unable to exhale they suffocated
In the ugliness they were made to believe was their own:
A tattooed imperfection over what was good.
Almost in the sky the taught strings revealed the deeper truths…
That the oars were still weeping,
Bodies were still being thrown overboard and sinking.
The curtains – well knit over time –
Were keeping the illusion afloat,
Concealing the looting,
The pilots, prophets, kings, and queens
Were anchored to bones
That for justice resist burying
For they continue dying un-decayed.
AND STILL! You sleep!
So… here I am.
With bloody knees kneeling.
Coagulated and shackled hands,
Desperately shaking your limp shoulders
As my captors with grins
watch, mock and sharpen their blades;
Tears accompanying my righteous whimpers –
A voice made feeble from crying for justice –
PLEASE, WAKE UP!
© Denis Adide 2018