The Untapped Path

They want me to be mute, to be silent

But my heart can’t

Because there is an ember within

And my grief swells every time I see the untapped path

The silence, might be their solace

But that broth can’t live within me

They want me to be silent

For not talking about the dead roads and swollen gutters

But I will speak, and even sing

Even though my songs are rotten fish

I will speak about the exorbitant price of chewing stick

And about the unspoken funeral of our book

And the skunky cities

Even if my songs won’t be listened to

They want me to choose between the two paths

The paths that diverged at Sitting Corner

But I am less sorry for my choice

Because I will head to the path to McCarthy Island

And partake in fending the eel-infected paddies

Just look everywhere

In the summer, the roads are braised with  red-mud

And in harmattan, all the thatched roofs denudate.

Oh, tell me now

Why wouldn’t the corrugates rust after a year

And why wouldn’t we always resort to palm fronds

I will sing about our cars, for they drain all our salaries

And their fumes suffocate us;

I will sing about the roaches eating all the office files.

Oh, tell me now

Why shouldn’t I choose the path not taken

When everywhere is embalmed with caskets

And we don’t know what to succumb to.

And yet you want to strangulate me for not being silent.

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Published by

Edrissa Ken-Joof

The author is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Management at Yuan Ze University, College of Management, Taiwan. He has a master's degree in International Affairs and Security Management from Ming Chuan University, Taiwan and a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English from the University of The Gambia.

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