VICTIMS OF FATE - a Poem by Adefolami Ademola

we didn't ask to tread on
the gold-plated roads in
your fruity island of banana
neither did we beg to be chauffeured
in fast-moving wonder on wheels
we never requested to wield
the exponential grace of
‘legislooters’ in the house of stupidity
we do not crave to house our undignified selves
in questionable monuments in abuja, bourdillon
or such other edifices of shame

we only ask for earth
to walk the land even
in our gloomy deliriums
begging for bread in the eyes
of impressionable people
like ourselves
who hoard their pains on the screens
of the smart phones
tapping into the relief that Facebook wields
we just ask for a run-down shack
to display our filthy wares
wares that hardly sate our hunger
dangerously at the mercy of
drunk, reckless bus drivers
to call out to passers-by
to buy of our bitterness
in the form of nail-cutters,
match boxes and cotton-buds

we do not want the flourishes
of extravagant living
we do not ask to fly in
custom-made private jets
or travel on vacations to lands
that we only hear of in fabled stories
we do not need stolen billions
floating in our off-shore accounts-
even if we have one-

we only need a carton or two
of assorted brands of gala
balanced on our shoulders
and chase after air-conditioned cars
for our daily meals
we only ask for a basket
two bottles of water, two of coke
two of fanta, and teem and viju milk
and wait to be called like dogs
so we can cast aside our dignity
and run! run like hell
and be rejected because
our toils are not cold enough
like it's our fault that their megawatt
keeps dropping like lazy sperm-counts

we do not ask for fame
for wealth or for success
neither do we solicit for
the conferment of bogus titles
we do not want to be called lawyers,
doctors or accountants or bankers-
those are for the offspring
of cold-blooded political swindlers

we just want to be called
the ones who lived against all odds
to be called the ones
disadvantaged by fate and society
the masses
the dregs of society
the hawkers
nuisance to development
for we are the broken half
of a bottle, turned up
we just want to be remembered
to have tried to live

we only ask for words
to tell our stories
in deformed times new roman
for a voice to describe our fate
to later generations
we ask for life
please deny us not these gifts...


Adefolami Ademola is first a writer, and a Public Relations Executive at WNT CAPITAS; a new-age media and strategic communications company. He feels the only time he does not feel useless is while writing. He is also an unrepentant talkative. His inspiration for poetry began with A.E. Housman's To An Athlete Dying Young. He cried the first time he read it, which is very unusual.