Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Abeeku: A poem



Abeeku stole a bright, gold watch from
the busy shop in the market.
The shopkeeper
saw him slip the watch into his waistband -
chased him, yelling and gesturing, “?? ,?? 
“ Thief, thief!”
The crowd caught up -
surrounding Abeeku
in the middle of the street.
They beat him.
Someone slipped an old tire over his head,
and another
and another helped
pull the tire over his arms
pinning them to his side.
The shopkeeper picked up the watch
its crystal broken and
its case scratched and split.
He put it on his wrist and
joined the chant, “Thief, thief.”
A boy pressed through the throng
with a tin of petrol,
pouring it over Abeeku’s head.
A shadow offered matches
and Abeeku was covered in flame
at dusk
while the African sky
was ablaze
in red and yellow light.