Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slave Girl

by Victor Ehikioya

I have left the gong,
The drum...
And those sticks that strike
The dead log,
To my mates, who yet, tarry
At the square with amulets
Flung around their necks.
My soles ache from trekking,
And my waist, too weak to
To the erroneous sounds of
Tumid timber.
Mama sees not these things
For I too foretell the seer's
The letters on the gate,
Scare my thought.
It seeks refuge from
Swollen speeches
Bamboos and knives--
Belligerent folks.
I am the lad with a
Tattooed tooth,
Woven on the left breast.
The child with a soneri
Made to nimble on bare feet
As the tambour swells with
To somersault and swirl,
Like the Eagle, with
Unintended misfortunes.
But now, I see their faces,
Blurred with hate,
A smug with no smile.
They sit and scorn
Mimicking my rhythm,
And the runes from my
Charcoal-gray Mother.
The tin gods bear my step
And my snivelling, the fools
That clamp my feet to Metals.
I am the gray child,
The voice beneath the sea
The monster in the man.
These things they fear,
For now the mountain,
Has fallen in the lake.

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