Planes and plains are parting paths.

Chief and Alhaji are on board.

Musa and the school’s brightest are birds

Gliding away from the land where

Grasses were green but are now dead.

 

Their brains are forever lost by home,

Their sweats water the grasses

And make them greener across the border

Where water is snow and without salt.

 

Emeka and Ahmed are without wings

Dragging across the plains, barefooted;

No trees to offer them shade

The trip is to a land where milk falls for rain

And honey flows for ocean.

 

The sun drinks their blood to keep cool

The sand receives their bodies

As manure for trees that won’t grow.

Bones and bones they become   Bones between borders.

 

Hospitals at home receive oxygen from Chief

But Chief cannot breathe

For to be black is to have

Every one dollar that has gone missing;

A black Chief is nothing

But a custodian of mischief.

 

Chike is the school’s brightest

Hope for those at home

Who will soon have a Ukraine-trained doctor

In their hospitals that are cars without engine

Ukraine is burning and Chike is firewood

He got to the train first

But ‘No, Ukrainians first’

 

Ada carries Aisha’s hijab

A tribute to the ones lost to the sea

Madam promised to fly them to the US

And turn them into scholars

With brains the sparkles of the stars.

Their boat flies on their bloods and bones

Men with different sizes of chalks

Draw their blood behind the boards

Their first lesson on Biology

 

Alhaji now takes beer

Taboos are for the living   Not those who take their life

 

Home is a death sentence

To those who stay home

Those who left home to feed home

Have themselves become food

 

Nobody leaves home

Until home becomes

Hurting and haunting.

 

Ugochukwu Anadị is a student of the University of Nigeria.

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