Tied around my ankles
Tightly beaded the masquerade stumbles
The drums think it is a dance and praise on
The familiar djini pokes his feathered skull
Out of the future – here I am!
Leaden feet leading until again
We stand on the river bank…
Sorry, where exactly?
We have been singing for the boat
Since time immemorial –
The mamiwater’s melodious silence answers us
Yet our ancestors did not lie
When they reassured us that the only
Real things are the invisible ones
Who refuse to see us.
If there be no boat
How shall the river
Cross us over
Onto the promised sand?
– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.