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Licking Wounds

by Tendai R. Mwanaka

like excess baggage to lands beyond
vital young men shipped daily to
worlds-wild, of which they knew not
like wild beasts, lived like Lazarus, they
worked all day long, eating out of view
rich man’s little crumbs. lumps and leftovers
with contempt and aversion they were viewed

troops on troops, cattle, horses, carriages
across our vast abundant homelands
scrambling started, so did demarcation
bequeathing unto themselves rich lands
stretching beyond the reach of eyes
in bulk; gold, oil, silver, ivory looted
to enrich a people belonging not to us
leaving a honeycomb nectar-less, depleted

lowly tribal trust lands paired to dark ones
in townships, farm compounds, in prisons
in our own birthright by a people foreign
cool fertile highlands paired to light ones
as oceans apart divided we stood
like prisoners in chains, dark toiled for food
light harvesting milk: dark tears and sweat
light took all of dark’s tears and sweat
which they feasted on to enrich themselves

dark in backward nameless enlightenment
light enjoying the best in enlightenment
dark to an enlightenment to slave for light
light to an enlightenment to master dark
in unlit dirt potholed streets, dark
loitered, leisured, shopped, slaved
in streets like paradise’s beautiful lands
light worked, ate, shopped, leisured

at war, dark against light, for freedom
were sacrifices both sides of the divide
cripples, orphans, casualties
resulting in beautiful sweet freedom
but in came, another colour, light unlike
yet dark it remained, lied to dark
like a mosquito it cared little but sapped
continuously scrambling on a scale so shameless
taking all, eating all, sharing in nothing

in light the other people happily live
in darkness, not of our own doing
we live and lick wounds still painful
why we had to suffer from all these wrongs
what wrong had we done, why us?
to deserve this disgusting dehumanisation
how are we ever going to heal these lames
who should really take the blame?

Copyright © 2013 by Tendai R. Mwanaka

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