THE CAGE

Inside the cracked mouldy black pot
Mother is cooking round stones
Assured children think, “Soon the yam will be ready”
The gaunt children who were once crying
Are playing with one another
Shooing away the hungry hens

The pot begins crying
Protesting the assault of the dying fire
The fire itself smokes lazily down
Its belly emptied, now mere embers are left
Impatient and hungry the children’s tempers burstLike balloons pricked by a scorching sun
The most stubborn children become gentlest
And the most moral start mouthing curses
At the suffering, greedy, black pot

They cry; tender cheeks burn like dirty oily creeks on fire
Shallow faces marred by tear-marks
Their stamping ant-weight boots made hoots
But could not scare the aching earth-
Soon they become cannibals, snarling, biting one another
Their wailings arouse the sleeping village
….
Local dogs don’t bite by order
They’re only mad when hungry
Lions don’t just roar
He’s angered when there’s hunger
Poverty is a cage
Trapping man beneath earth
It’s a disease acacia leaves can’t cure
An ailment that costs the village maiden
Her greatest jewel!

Written by: Dauda Muideen Lanre
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

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2 Comments

  1. Indeed poverty is a cage. Well written.

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