& if at all the world wants to write about me

Tell them to remember this country: Its broken body.

The sketches of tears that litter everywhere.

& if at all the world craves to sing my name

Tell them to echo the names of boys covered

with leaves. Tell them to scribble the names of girls

raped till their thighs bled, till their cries

vanished in the wind of silence.

& if at all the world carves me a plaque

Remember to tell them about unbuilt monuments
for people devoured by earthquake, people left
with shattered hearts, people buried like
dead dogs, like the bits of a broken glass.
Happy Independence Day to Nigeria. Source:

Happy Independence Day to Nigeria.


Remember to tell them about lives limping in

the fire that leaks the rusty roof of this country.


& if at all my song tickles your ears

Remember the woman next door,

the one clutching the photograph of her
bombed son. Remember the man waiting to

explore a dumpster for wastes.

Remember this country and its fate,

its history full of lengthy dirges.



& if at all tomorrow comes with laughter

breaking the tunnels of our throats

Remember the poet that

remembers this country.


P.S.: This is for a sober reflection as the most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria celebrates 55 years of Independence.


Rasaq Malik is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Connotation Press, Heart Online Journal, Jalada, Saraba, Sentinel, African Writers, New Black Magazine, Kalahari Review, and elsewhere. He believes writing is an act of healing, an art that transcends the world, that survives every death.



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