Hope of an empty tomorrow sounds many roars through the weak walls of an ailing belly suffering from malnourished protrusion of that abandoned boy absorbing the jabs of starvation — walking barefooted in the deep valley of hunger while his lower jaw hangs low, yet uncertainty beckons nearer by the hour of the clock.
Ragged in his coat of many worries as he carries his funeral on his head, searching ultimately for where to dig a hole in the earth and hide his shame from the eyes of the day's light. For darkness hurls him along the track of misery with song sung in his mother tongue — perturbed by the dialect of strings of a heartbeat unable to hold the tension — of a frustrated voice.
Jumping over the fire he leaped above the pot belly bridging the gap between groans of not having and wishing for having bread from the baked loaves of food poisoning. Thirsty & weary: he tried drawing water from the dried well of tears — brimmed over with agony, yet he draws… emptiness instead: bucket full of nothingness, he counts 24 of his bare rib cage.
Labeling each as he feels the breath of hunger on his shoulder --
the stench of political corruption fouling his state of being --
violating his human rights
and seizing his smuggled pot of beans he made away
with when the Watcher wasn't watching.
Uchechukwu Onyedikam is a Nigerian creative artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Amsterdam Quarterly, Brittle Paper, Poetic Africa, Hood Communists and in print anthologies. Christina Chin and he have co-published Pouring Light on the Hills (2022); and forthcoming release: CLOUDS OF PINK.
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