If I played a dirge - By: Sonala Olumhense | Dailytrust

If I played a dirge

If I sounded my harp, and played a dirge

Would you come to me?

If I wept until my eyes were flames of anger

And my voice broke like a widow’s hopes

Would you come to me?


If I told you who set fire to the rooftop

Who pawned the land and bartered the women

Who sold our dreams and mocked our hopes

Who plotted in the night and gloated at dawn

Would you come?


If I stripped to my skin and swore upon our clan

On our ancestors and every offspring since dawn

If I drew my own blood and tasted it,

If I breasted the Holy Book and on my knees slept

Would you come?


If you found out this was only a game, not life

That the legend is a whore, the woman not your wife

They planned to bury you under your own oak tree

If I proved beyond doubt your face has two men

Would you come?


If I woke you to the procession in progress:

Party of liars, and thieves, and murderers

Of clowns, evil spirits and demons dressed in garbs of gold

Headed for Hades on chariots of power

Would you come?


If I showed you mass murders and mass funerals

The blood of collusion that flows beneath your throne

If I showed you how they plotted against the homestead

And the chapters and verses by which they buried our future

Would you come to the junction of heaven and earth?


If I played the dirge they penned for the unborn

If I broadcast the tears of women with wombs betrayed

The screams of ancestors as they break out of their tombs

Would you bring your manhood, your menace, your mayhem,

Would you overrun the street corner?


Would you rise taller than the Iroko, roar louder than a pride of lions

Would you bring your blazing outrage, your searing courage

Your strong right arm, your arms and ammunition

Your thunder, your arson, your sanction,

Screaming: No more, No longer, Nevermore!

[First published February 21, 2009]


This column welcomes rebuttals from interested government officials.


•           sonala.olumhense@gmail.com

•             @Sonala.Olumhense

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