Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUR BIRTH-CORD, by KOFI ANYIDOHO



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OUR BIRTH-CORD, by            
First Line: A piece of meat lost in cabbage stew
Last Line: The maimed panther is no playmate for antelopes
Variant Title(s): Soul In Birthwaters (suite For The Revolution) 1. Our Birth-cord
Subject(s): Great Britain - Commonwealth & Colonies; Revolutions; British Empire; England - Empire


a piece of meat lost in cabbage stew
it will be found it will be found

If we must die at birth, pray
we return with our birth-cord still uncut
our oneness with Earth undefiled

Last night on the village square a man
bumped into my conscience and cursed
our god. I refused to retort, knowing
how hard it is for man to wake a man
from false slumber
Our conscience would not be hurt
by threats of lunatics

a pinch of salt lost in cabbage stew
it will be found the tongue will feel it out

We heard their cries but thought of dogs
and ghosts. Ghosts gone mad at dogs
who would not give our village a chance
to sleep, to dream
Now they say we have to die
These brand-new men gone slightly drunk
on public wine they say we have to die

Yet if we must die at birth, pray
we return with our birth-cord still uncut
our name still to be found in the book of souls
Across the memory of a thousand agonies
our death shall gallop into the conference hall of a million hopes
a lone delegate at reshuffling of destinies

a piece of hope lost in public tears
it will be found it will be found

And if we must die at birth, pray
we return with --
But we were not born to be killed
by threats of lunatics
The maimed panther is no playmate for antelopes






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