POEM 144: HE WON’T BEND
It’s easy to tell the bereaved how not to cry
when the death of his loved one is your design.
It’s easy to hush the hungry kid
and deny him his sweet biscuit
when in your hand is that same whip
that flogged his father to his grave.
You tell him, ‘look, you can’t be brave’
He paints the sky with teary eyes
and wonder why father couldn’t break your arms.
It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,
When this beaten son is feeling infernally mortal;
when it’s ten against one,
and hope there is none,
When he casts the chips down,
and dance the dance
This little soldier shall charge at you
with placards and a fiery plea
Even your whip, though flung at him,
Shall toughen his skin and feed his will
With that same craving lions have for flesh.
He may not survive your envious whip
But he won’t bend to your whim
No he can’t.
He’ll bring you down
six feet below his father
– Stefn Sylvester Anyatonwu