As our blacknesses mourn;
Dethroned by the 'Redorabilias'.
Some bloods remain black,
And some hearts and undergarments too.
Many true colours are red-washed,
And pretense -red-hot pretense- sends her 'love'
From the unmarked mass graves of Sambisa,
From the sprawling solitary savannahs of Cameroon,
From the deepest mires of Southern Africa,
Spirits shed sermentious tear drops.
And mummified ghosts stare on...
And they all send their 'love'
Hawkresses and beggars in Ghana,
Unshaved, barefooted youths in Bostwana,
Illiterate homeless families in Kenya,
Barebottomed refugees in Congo,
Impoverished families in Guinea, Sudan, Togo...
All send their 'sweet love'
If love is this Delilahic cacoon
This reddish make-believe and ‘worldpaper’
If love is not this bond that drives our growth
The red-masked hatred, violence and pestilence
Then Happy African Valentine
To the sorrow limned rims of Africa
If love is not about caring for humanity
If love doesn’t birth smiling faces in our communities
If it is smoke rising from burning mosques and churches
Or the tears on disenfranchised voters' faces
Then happy African Valentine
To the dying blinds in soon-to-be-wastelands
To the bomb victims dying in dirty hospital beds
To the hungry walking ghosts in refugee camps
If love is more than this red paint spilled on our world
Then let’s make our choices today
To tell ourselves the true truth
Or continue swimming in streams of prejudice cream
Until this fake red plunges us into deep blackness
©Stephen Emmanuel Ogboh
Photo: Ucheblessing Ijeoma