Originally I used to cover my face
I was new to the street
A freshly fallen angel –

Would old friends pass this way
And recognise me? Old colleagues?
Old neighbours with whom I shared
A beer and a philosophical hour
Reflecting on the vicissitudes of life
The changing destinies of human lives
Society, politics, the role of science in
Religion, male jokes about women
And feeling entitled to be fortunate.

Will they recognise me now, when
They pass this way and hurry past the
Wretched beggar on the street corner
Maybe throw him a coin but avoid his intrusive eyes?
Opposites don’t match, is their marching song
Did they recognise me in me?

But I don’t avoid their eyes anymore
The eyes of my yesterday
Not anymore
Not anymore.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.



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