Our hands are sore and rigid,
Blistered, ridged like a farmland.
Our feet are sore and frigid;
Rock-hard like the hide of a beast.
Last night my eyes fell upon a sight:
Me strutting upon the cobbled street,
Swathed in the colors of sunlight
And the embers of twilight:
A free bird with colorful plumage,
Forever elusive to the shackles of servitude.
Basking in this rare treat,
I will be content with my head in the sky,
If only to numb the pain of reality
And my hopelessness to disguise.
But hither came the rude awakening:
A crack of the whip and a bellow.
Unto earth’s surface I crash
As I dissolve before my eyes.
Still an image made manifest,
Seductive in its morbidity.
For how often do I hope to dream
Or hope to hope?
So I gazed with morbid fascination,
As they chomped their final morsels;
Deglutitioning, barfing execrations.
But longsuffering assailed me
Like a dove from heaven.
Grim satisfaction swelled my throbbing heart,
Bearing witness: bulging eyes, stertorous inhalation;
A desperate scramble for a gulp of air.
Yes, retribution has docked,
And freedom at last.
Written by: Ogundiran Ajibola ‘toby
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson