This town; a breathing crocodile, is a sad town…

“Oh, God! That bread should be so dear
and flesh and blood so cheap!”

                                    Thomas Hood

This town; a breathing crocodile, is a sad town
with bombs that fall like rain
& moons that hoard smiles but frown
at all that’s scattered: limbs & shards of brain
for in this place lies the music that weeps
in masses that silence keeps

A boy looks at the photo of his sister carried by the wind:
too young to know how to dodge a stray bullet
but the dark night all sinister & skinned
sings a distant memory of an unrhymed couplet
until it crashes into that gate
where all that is left is war & fate.

It’s better to watch the darkness
than your friend’s eyes closing to your memory
his loss gathering moss & weariness,
your kindred glow shattered in dust & melancholy
& smouldering balls & bullets race at the wall
& still, like manna, the bombs continue to fall.

This town; a breathing crocodile, is a sad town
with bombs that fall like rain
& moons that hoard smiles but frown
at all that’s scattered: limbs & shards of brain
for in this place lies the music that weeps
in masses that silence keeps.

Boko Haram still spits fire in North East Nigeria.

Othuke Umukoro is a poet & playwright. His demons have appeared in Brittle Paper, AfricanWriter.com, Ink In Thirds, Poetry Potion & elsewhere. His debut stage play Mortuary Encounters is forthcoming from Swift Publishers.

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