A POEM FOR MY GRANDCHILD

 

By Tanure Ojaide

 

 

 

 

 

With crude oil gushing into slave ships

refurbished into free-market super-tankers

 

Government assures its people of development

with proceeds from export and spot market deals.

 

My children have had no scholarships,

they canít fish or tap rubber as I once did

 

the river transformed into a snake of a tomb

and the forest fraught with flares and seepage.

 

No jobs for them graduates in the oil sector

even as wells litter our familyís farmland!

 

Mobile policemen brandish guns in the dearth of prospects

and from above American Marines keep the pipelines safe.

 

Villages of imploring eyes marching, their hands up-

raised with green-leafed branches, are mowed down.

 

CNN & BBC Inc. embedded with Chevron reports the women

stripping to save their children and men from death are barbaric.

 

With my grandchild born, the new Stone Age

of a nation very black in the books has begun

 

with refilled slave ships refurbished into super-tankers

anchored at Escravos and poaching inland as centuries ago.

 

 

        Escravos: oil-loading port of super-tankers in Nigeriaís Delta State. Apparently the Portuguese gave the place the name because it was a slave-exporting port.

 

 

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