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The Bridge Selection

Poems for the Road by Nnorom Azuonye

The Bridge Selection / Poems / Buy

 

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The Bridge Selection 

Poems

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WHAT ALI SAID TO ME IN A DREAM
 
Prophesies of westwards fire shall sink like the body
of a weighted debtor to the bottom of my
pain’s ocean. My coming of age must rain no bullets
upon your heads or explode me in your heartlands
like those damned fools of the 7th of July.
Only gratitude with jaundice shall dare
repay liberation with the murder of children
in underground trains scattering blood, flesh and dreams
upon railtracks in tunnels dark and airless.
I shake your hands across that ocean of my pain,
forgive your faith in Freedom, the fear that forced you
to bomb my playmates who hopped and laughed to the market
to buy potatoes and tomatoes for supper.
If my friends lived, your children would not see old age.
This is why Freedom chewed my brother and sister.
 
See me now in Great Britain, a limbless boy painting
pictures, brush between my teeth, like a gifted snake.
I am spectacle. I am inspiration. I am propaganda.
Freedom is a god; a ruthless warrior god.
His shrine glowers with blast offerings; my people
incinerated like fraud papers in our little homes.
 
The end, ultimately is good. Yet I cannot get a piece
of my sister on my burning chest out of my mind,
and my father’s brain spattered upon the debris
of our former home haunts my dreams every night.
Still, I fall on my face and kiss the foot of freedom.
 
Yes, I am free, and it is all because of you, I am free,
I am free from the burden of sibling love, I am free
from the weight of a wholesome body, and tomorrow,
I shall be free from the sanctions of conscience.
I thank you, dear liberator, my hero, peace be unto you.

 

 

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