Friday March 7 2014

Poem: A nation in labour

By Harriet Anena

She’s in labour
Screaming and pacing
The corridor of the Republic
She’s cursing the colonial TBA
And blaming the man who impregnated her
But she needs to push
To deliver herself
From the claws of her tormenter

This 50-year-old mother
Needs to set ablaze seeds of discord
And plant seeds of concord
She needs to celebrate
The gains made in decades gone by
And even pains felt in years gone by

But she’s at crossroads
Her head is spinning
And her vision is blurred
She’s not sure of what to nurture
And who to torture
So she scoops plates of counterfeit morality
And shoves it down the throat of her offspring
She’s obsessed with goodness
But flees her own shadow
She does not know herself anymore
So she sits cross-legged and puffs some sushi

She smiles
At the offspring crying of hunger
She winks at the snake
Whose hiss has been hushed by the public good in its mouth
She pats the back of the hyena
Lining up lies to remain in charge of the kitchen
This woman,
This 50-year-old mother is in labour
But she is distracted