Monday, 22 April 2013

A Poem: The City Worker

You, with eyes seeing beyond the horizon of the skies waiting for sunrise, know
The dash of red painted on the wrinkles of cloud and fired sun,
Is a companion to the sweat and drudge that you shoulder for your Babel city.

Between the piercing of alarm clocks, phones and screaming babies,                  
Your wake is permanent.

Your survival
Is dawn carrying numberless feet into dusk;
Where the wages of work speak dearth
And dependants assume abundance and decipher meanness.

Desire is a good thing when age is not running with time; you labour in wait
Until your shirts bear sweat maps that soap detergents would not clean,
You are reminded of the arrival of retirement and departure of dreams.

A new life is when the beer houses trade your last coins
For the invention of new dreams,
Waiting to be whipped each night to remain dead.

As you return home to a barren house and an empty food cupboard,
You learn
Home is a suffering of disappearing relatives. 

The cycle has not even begun for the secret of city wealth is to hope
That the fickle would become the fortune;
And every cranny could make a valley and drainages may become streams.

In summary: as the last paragraph of your life would narrate
Universal aspirations: love, fear, hope, dreams, even laziness
For a life like yours is summed as one that never worked enough

You, do not know when you finally die
Perhaps it was in dreaming of having what you never owned

(c) Jumoke Verissimo 2013

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