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Footprints On a Deserted Path

by Shola Balogun

Mock sentry,
swift-footed page
on mock errand
to known thresholds,

tap your weary feet
on the deserted path
before this saliva
dries on the mud.

Impudent seeker
of the encrypted message,
is your errand now
not pointing homeward?

[Author’s note] This poem is a reference to the traditional Yoruba theatre known as Irodan, where an insolent child is sent by elders on a mock errand to go tactfully from house to house in the community as a form of punishment.

Copyright © 2016 by Shola Balogun

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