A contradiction of smiles

We had waited, waited in a keg, clouded by hairy heat,

The sun melting our rancid faces and no scarf needed to wipe the sweat

For the river went dry.

We never moved away, but moored to the torpedo

Silently, with our ‘maslaha’, we endured the pain, only for a smile.

We waited and waited, and our skins got drier than a lizard’s

Our throats dried out, our trunks elongated, crying for the lost parole

The eyes without tears; all shed along the unending journey.

We never moved away, because we ought not to empty the kraal

We waited for two decades, just to get the first smile on our faces

And today it came, amidst all the odds: anger, frustration and shallow fear.

We smiled, tried to laugh but you want to tether us again

You rant, especially on Fridays

And today, you try to smile, but do you think you can snare us with your mug;

After baptizing us in sleepless nights with fitful thoughts.

We will tell you that you can’t coax us anymore

Our smile, this kismet is our blood and we will lump the contradictions of smiles.

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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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