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By Ekong Sampson


They rejected the Chief Priest
After collecting his offerings.
They protested:
You are not from here
You are not one of us
You came from Wood.
At noon the prince was proudly theirs;
They swam in his oceans.
By sunset they abandoned him to his ambition.
They had discovered his real ancestry
In the ant-hill, they claimed.
On a worthless piece of unsigned paper
The fate of a people convoluted
As we peered to make sense
Of a macabre dance on a precipice.
Silence. Steely silence.
A mandate defiant.
Earth be still.
Hear only our light arms breath.
Nerves stretched taut.
After a handshake across borders
A new Nigeria emerged
Like a freshly hatched chick
Into the cool embrace of a dewy earth.
Suddenly they attacked the new dawn
With knives and decrees.
A bridge was broken.
Where, truly, looking back now, are the worshippers –
A motley crowd – past, present – mouthing
“The struggle” but running in opposite direction?
Through time and season their masks protest.
How many of these worshippers
Actually live like the iconic giver –
There, with a giant heart, for everybody, every tribe,
Religion, family. One world.
We remain in the woods after
A judgment delivered in the dark
While insects chirped mournfully outside.
After a long meeting of uniformed elephants
The hyenas smiled to lunch.
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