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Emmanuel G G Yamba | Metamorphosis


sometimes silence arrives in the body of
a country. so you settle on a dark back porch,
to feed your silence with the night stars.
you remembered how a bird that flew high,
has forgotten how to carry it wings in the sky
& every wall here shares the same story – the bullet holes
it’s a door opening to the past
& entry in a room colored with our bruises
when we lost our country in the mouth of war
that dug out parts of this place we never knew existed,
hung men like flags & sprayed them to death,
pulled blood out of bodies that took refuge in a sanctuary,
desecrated our yards with gunshots
& our playgrounds were washed away.
Father, is this the land that carried softness on her lips,
that your people now empty of every beauty?
we only carry the glory of brokenness on our tongues,
for this place holds death without dying


The gospel of deception

(About December 24,1989 when the rebels arrived claiming to
deliver Liberia from the military government of Samuel K. Doe)

what else can I tell you of this day that fell
on the twenty fourth of December, on the eve of Christmas

it looked more than the birth of a savior: women spread
colorful lappas along the road, while men chanted battle cries

they learned from scriptures how to celebrate
the triumphant entry of gunmen into Liberia

nodding their heads as the band of rebels
drilled with their weapons fixed upward

held with both hands like the cross to carry away
our sins. that’s how we tried to find peace by breaking

our nation in pieces. that’s how seven years
swallowed two hundred and fifty thousand lives,

sucked thousand homes down its throat
& chased several thousand legs away to be named refugees.

Poetry: Emmanuel G G Yamba
Image: Gerd Altmann Pixabay

Emmanuel G G Yamba
Emmanuel G G Yamba
Emmanuel G G Yamba writes from Monrovia, Liberia. His works has been featured and forthcoming in Salamander ink, Kalahari Review, Odd Magazine, Rigorous, Afro Rep, WSA, Sleepless In Monrovia and elsewhere.

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