Back in the Day

I

A man happily roamed the forest of Juffureh
Looking for wood to make a djembe.

Dew glistened grass and croaking frogs and
Hungry vultures circled the dead.

How did it get to this?
Naked, chained and shackled

Gasping for air in the darkness.
Madness the English say. Utter madness.

II

Countless Africans
Set for the seas seeking a strange land.

The dinghys rock, the nights are black –
We hear sharks encircle the dead.

III

Residing under the sea bed
Slaves who failed the perilous journey

Cannot fathom the screams of drowning migrants:
They are astounded.

Of how a people once ferried across the seas
Force themselves on colonial masters

Risking life and more but are not welcome
Albeit by brutal means.

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