Men Like Us

Who are these men?
Men like us – well mannered,
well-traveled and well-educated?
Our leaders?

The ones who rob the poor
without a dint of conscience?
The ones that keep calling out their sons
to war at the slightest provocation?

Who are these men?
Men like you, men like me –
family men, mothers, uncles, grandsons,
grandfathers, godfathers n’ aunts?

The ones that are exhausted of fresh ideas –
old, decrepit, senile?
The ones that keep taking us round n’ round
the same hole, a decade in a decade out?

The ones that tell us:
Truth is everything, even the lie –
say one thing and another next.
“Everything is a lie, even the truth.”

Are these the elders you stood
under the scorching sun for, to vote;
or worst
snatched the ballot box on their behalf?

The ones you hero-worship n’ bootlick,
Tweet insults at each other for,
threaten a fellow to gang-rape his mother
over matters of political correctness?

But alas! Is their guilt weightier,
any different from ours –
who hasn’t given or taken a bribe to ignore
an expired driver’s license, a forged affidavit?

Or played “Tribe” to secure for himself
an unmerited job, favor, or appointment?
In little or grand ways as a public servant
has not diverted revenue meant for the state?

Who hasn’t as a businessman knowingly
imported or sold fake products in corner shops
to make quick and untaxed gains
at the detriment of fellow citizens?

Who are these men?
Men like you, nice people like me?
A nation begets what it deserves, not what it desires
you reap a whirlwind when you sow the wind.

© Ugo Nkwoala. Spilledwoords, 2020

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