WHILE SUDAN ASSAULTS by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

For the price of bread,

Down with the arrogance of power!

Atbara, lurked to the east of Sudan

Far removed from our worries

From there, this tide commenced,

roaring to wash away the unyielding seamounts.

To the west, we plough our courtesies

Looking to advance our lot

Not that we are any better

Than the oppressed women and children of Atbara,

Of Sudan.

No; not at all!

In fact, off we were worse,

Treated fairly less than pets,

Who have their cares taken with trembling hands

But we…

We, who have become westerner than the Westerners

Who speak foreign tongues

Like they are the tongues of our mothers…

And eat shawarma like it was gbegiri

even while our only connections to that west

is barely more than a radio box,

we live in need of dignity

or in perpetual denial of its need with bashful pride…

While we welter in sonorous shawarma,

masticating delicious foreign tongues

we cherish the oblivion of our many sufferings

and ignorance of mutual sufferers

flung in distant places around the world.

And while we trudge on, heavily…

There is a voice, rising…

Beneath the deafening cacophony

of empty noises from exhausted carcasses,

of want and strive

and the pummeling to compliance;

of hate and bile,

and the acute dissatisfaction with reality, now and then;

of neglect and greed,

and the misplaced outbursts at incongruent directions

by the leaders and followers, alike.

And while we trudge on,

weltering in sonorous shawarma,

and masticating delicious foreign tongues,

There is a voice, rising…

Women of Sudan,

Adorning their headscarves,

And like the Phoenix from its ash,

Rise, in blood and sweat,

Hand-in-hand with children

And their men, spent

In demand for long-deserved justice

And that their people be treated with dignity

Defying the nozzles of brutality

And the suppressive regime too obese to move

Young women, in their twenties,

And professionals, trained to be genteel

Risk their future to come to this threshold

With a dogged resolve, resounding

“Enough is enough!”

The people may be weak

Against the manipulations of a few

Greedy men in power

But only as long as they are kept in disarray by the need for survival.

There is but a certainty,

As it is unfolding in Sudan,

When the people, of necessity or compunction, unite

Against a common foe,

There is no mount that will remain insurmountable.

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