By Ekong Sampson
They rejected the Chief Priest
After collecting his offerings.
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.