NAIJA POETRY 4: Answer

I broke at last
the terror-fringed fascination
that bound my ancient gaze
to those crowding faces
of plunder and seized my
remnant life in a miracle
of decision between white-
collar hands and shook it
like a cheap watch in
my ear and threw it down
beside me on the earth floor
and rose to my feet. I
made of their shoulders
and heads bobbing up and down
a new ladder and leaned
it on their sweating flanks
and ascended till midair
my hands so new to harshness
could grapple the roughness of a prickly
day and quench the source
that fed turbulence to their
feet. I made a dramatic
descent that day landing
backways into crouching shadows
into potsherds of broken trance. I
flung open long-disused windows
and doors and saw my hut
new-swept by rainbow brooms
of sunlight become my home again
on whose trysting floor waited
my proud vibrant life.

AUTHOR: Chinua Achebe (in full, Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe); born in Ogidi within Anambra State, Nigeria on Sunday 16 November 1930.

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