Displacement – A Poem by Abioye Samuel Akorede


“It’s the most painful feeling to leave home while it’s burning. It’s the worst feeling to leave what is yours.”

Sharif Safi, 26, Afghan activist

The heart of a man is tearing across his country.
In his enclosure he examines the magnitude
of all that have been lost just for loving.
He devises himself amidst the ocean of ruins
Observing how far he has deserted the shore of his land.
A country, like ours, cannot love you enough.

At a beach, a boy is holding a couple of photographs
Of all the bodies that have left with the tide:
bodies of people who were eroded from comfort with guns.
Bodies of people who let out all the butterflies inside of them
into the water until they poured into void, laying bloated at the seaside.
This country is a crazy exorcist wringing out souls of its people.

In the boy’s hand there is a photograph of a troubled woman
with her baby saddles on her back the minor looks haggard
& the background is pervaded with dark thick smoke. At the bottom
the inscription bears the name of everything that has eaten up bodies
From the Northwest side of Nigeria & its metropolis. & like many others
the young boy looks ahead towards the horizon to be taken away.
Nobody truly wants to be a part of the ruins aside being victimized.

Abioye Samuel Akorede is a Nigerian poet presently studying for a Mass Communication degree at the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. His works have appeared on several platforms, including Kalahari Review, Parousia, Sparrow’s Trombone, Praxis Magazine, The Quills Journal, EroGospel, and so on. In 2020, Abioye’s poem “Running Out of the Mirror” was longlisted for the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP). His poem “A Boy, a God, and a Country” was Longlisted among the TOP 20 of The Nigeria Students Poetry Prize in 2021. Twitter: @SamuelAkorede17.

Art: colonialism, what’s behind, a visual poem by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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