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Scenes From the River

by Shola Balogun

The river stinks.
The daughters of my people
know this song
that the birds sing
upon the hills
and in the abandoned farmlands.

The griots know this song
that the fishermen sing
on the lone footpaths
to their sheds.

The children drink
from the putrid ponds,
and the silence
from the empty barns
is whispered
by the seashells.

The hymn of the homeless
is heard from the reefs.

They turned the water
into oil,
and our river stinks.

Copyright © 2017 by Shola Balogun

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