The smiling sky is afraid to rain upon the earth.
And the sun is too shy to shine it’s teeth upon us.
Our crops are strengthless to walk the water distance
And termites rejoice, pinching our little (plenty) food.

Souls are belittled like skeletons, yearning for flesh,
And our pleas to you Mother Earth have proven futile.
We are battered by drought, hunger, famine;
Dressed like wealthy apostles of generous poverty…

All day we assemble like flies, picking the dust of the earth.
Our small hamlet has become a festival of drought;
The tiny, cruel, creatures creep around, unperturbed;
Our warm fading flesh feasting on its dry bank of blood.

The days weep for us as though our soul would run away.
All hope lost, our spirit sighs within and looks up,
Our heart hiding a million dry tears – soon to pour.
So we mournfully ask Mother, “Is this what you promised us?”

Our children are skeletons that walked without hope;
And our mothers – dry within and without – are afraid to die;
Our fathers’ feverish faces lack smiles and the youths weep
To mother earth – seeking the restoration of lost hope.

Death takes us – not unawares, for we knew he would come
And the tireless Grave conducts funeral masses
In gravel cemetery – calling for our dying people – daily
Enveloping us in agony of pains and sorrow.

The people render blissful curses on you, Mother Earth;
Shower your holy water, we plead, upon our scorched land
And make the stormy rain clap on our roofs again
That we may once again look into the skies and smile!

We wait for you, Mother, for the Grave is a happy man
That, each day, devours and swallows your helpless people!

*First published on September 18, 2012

Written by: Moses Opara
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

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