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AND THEY STARVED

There was famine in the land;
And the earth thirsted for rain
Till her lush hair grayed and fell
At the teasing of the wind.
And there were three men!
The first of them did sit
Hungry – and grain did rot
In the hollow of his silo;
His heart craved water and oil
That he might boil porridge!

Beyond his wicket fence
Sat another, whose stomach
Rumbled with unmet want –
Beside him was a keg of water
But he had nothing to boil.

There, crouching in the shadows,
Bones deaf to his commands,
A third lay. His hollowed eyes
Fixed on his full pot of palm-oil,-
But oil fills not empty stomach!

Alas! Each died in his corner;
For none in his pride shall say,
“Come hither that, together,
We may live to tell the tale
To them that shall come after!

Written by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

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