By the Tollgate

By the tollgate at Lekki, by the roadside
far from the comforts of our loved ones
eased from the day-to-day tasks we abide
there we sat in anguish n’ anger – agitated.

Placards we brought with us –
a solace to our heavy hearts,
a plead to the world to hear
but soon we found we’ve upset our censors.

With resentment, they tagged us:
Bolsheviks at the gates of Berlin
“Protest is the handiwork of idleness,
the brainchild of the opposition,” they fuss.

A few days afterward, all is clear n’ quiet
the muffled din of steely-glinting pieces
like a menacing messenger announced their disdain.
Rat-tat-tat! Rat-tat-tat! Their attack dogs barked.

Neither time nor force nor force of arms
would ever bring us down; this Gate of Blood
would not be our sepulcher but
the headstone of our country’s glorious rebirth.

This Green-White flag in our hands –
a shroud now covering our corpse
will only fall when our Will fall
only he who’s without cynicism births ideals.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala| Spilledwoords | 2020

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