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The BEGGARS

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Who sponsors the beggars?
Who paid for the steely wheelchairs sparkling like titanium in the Lagos Sun?
Who taught them the route to success?
What tar is profitable… which time is best?

In which course did they learn the stature:
Drooped shoulders, sad eyes and to pitch their tones like so?
Who shared secrets of where best to hide their treasure or pretend they are not yet full?
Smear oil on the sheen of their customers’ cars and look judgementally into the state of their wealth?
Who sponsors the beggars?

Who did this to the children?
Break their arms, force them to be up past bed time,
Pinch them just before they are pressed against windows of the high blood pressure victims rushing hurriedly to work at dawn…at night…by afternoon…at all times?
Who does this? Who thinks it right?

Who sat in on the auditions with gleamy eyes at the potential cast?
Rubbed palms together as each member is selected – those 8 month old twins,
That teenage girl with the lali stained fingers and too much make up,
that little boy paired with the old man with chapped nails and a perverse tongue,
That 40 year old mother with no love for children from her womb,
That hen pecked man given in to life’s offering,
that 6 year old with the caustic tongue and spittle yet dribbling down her mouth…
Who does these things?

Who sponsors the beggars?
Who gave them shiny wheelchairs and no shelter?
Whose heart was made lighter in false humanity
Who walked away sated at the magnanimity of these gifted wheels,
In spite of ears still ringing from the rumble of the empty stomachs that sat in the chariots of liars?
Who went home to lit candles and burning incense,
their nostrils unable to rid its hairs of the stench of poverty on the streets,
images rolling down their memories on shiny new wheels?

Who does these things?
Who sponsors the beggars on these Lagos Streets?

Written by

The Poet, Donna.

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