Letter To My American Pen Pal

www.facebook.com/WRRPoetry [Letter To My American Pen Pal]

Dear Halston, I received your last correspondence
In it you expressed some concerns

You said you watched the news and heard the stories
And shuddered at the fiery savagery of my country
You called the jihadists beasts and the crime kingpins soulless
You decried the corrupt leaders and spat on my government
And you wondered how my countrymen could go on living

For days, I pondered how best to respond
To soothe the boiling waters of your indignation
And open your eyes to the truth of the Black, the purpose of a Nigerian
I floundered for answers, I grasped for the words
But my grandiosity, it seemed, had deserted me

In despair, I took a walk by the roadside, to see, to feel, to know
For now, I wondered myself how my countrymen could go on living

The trader by the road flicked off the trickling sweat
A bead out of the many that dewed her temple
And her hand flapped the raffia pan in its grasp
Stirring the flames that kindled her pan of akara

The conductor hung from the side of the bus rocketing past
His clothing dirtied from the travails of the day so far
His voice hoarse from one too many bellows
Yet a bold figure he paints, welded to the juddering metal of the bus

The pedestrian made a dash across the chaotic highway
The frayed edges of his envelope betrayed the desperation of his job search
Yet the clean-cut style of his clothing stamped a declaration of his faith
His faith – this belief that I suddenly realized was shared by every one of us

The adhesion that holds the fabric of this nation together
The buoy that keeps it afloat despite the splashes of the sea’s turbulence
The lee that shields it from the worst of the wrathful storm
That truth of the Black, that purpose of a Nigerian – it dawned on me

And I finally knew what to say to you, Halston
We go on living because we believe the present isn’t our lot
We go on living because we believe in the beauty of the horizon
We go on living, Halston, because of the strength of the Naija spirit.

Written by: Shakespearean Walter
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.


  1. Reply
    shakespeareanwalter says

    Reblogged this on MY MIND SNAPS.

    • Reply
      Yemie says

      A brilliant piece, with a nice flow to it. The unbreakable and unbending Nigerian Spirit even in the face of adversity where others woulda easily buckled under the pressure. We thank God for being our sustenance in this great country of ours.

      Will your American pal understand the ‘conductor’ lingo you adopted though? The English use the word conductor in another context, those giving musical directions to a choir. Thumbs up.

      • Reply
        Kukogho Iruesiri Samson says

        he would have to understand

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