To the people of Nigeria
Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
1Trip End Jan 08, 2010
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to the people of Nigeria,
You were the first person I saw, who picked me up and lead me by the hand.
You were the last person I saw, who kindly gave me lettuce for water, and sent me away to a distant land.
A way to come, a way to go, you gave me more than you will ever know
You said, “Traveling is knowledge”, but without you there I felt so alone, until a foreign number called my phone.
Your calm voice asked, “How are you?”, “Je suis bien mon père, merci pour tout. “
You never had left the country before, not by plane, car, or even boat.
You are a friend of a best friend, by the way you never got me that goat.
“numbero uno” I had a great time and all, because we stayed up playing football.
I’ve come to peace at not knowing why, I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye,
Because, I think I talked to you the most, “foo me popo foo me juice foo me toast”
You sang and lifted me on high, in times of trouble your song told no lie.
It gave to me A Fresh new look , please tell me why some captains have hooks.
They say it’s because the traffic, the pot holes and the corruption, but we don’t let those excuses fly bye,
It doesn’t matter the drum or the sound it makes, what matters is the person behind each quake,
For if the person begins to cry, the drums will tell us the reason why.
For the drums talk , or did you not know, some of us are linguists, and we understood each blow.
“Now just relax, relax I say”, “Pack your bags and safely run the other way”.
I just kept focused on the light, for I couldn’t look left or to the right.
A man spoke, that I hardly knew, “They see you but they don’t SEE you”.
On that one day that put it all into practice, the tricks from four years of learning with that actress,
God told me something to help me survive, “Ears see and eyes hear” and that is why I’m alive.
I know this color has hurt you before, don’t take it out on me; I’m also sore
From the lies I too have been told, and I am only 23 years old.
For I am yellow, red, white and blue, don’t you see inside I am just like you.
Just like you I never asked, for my place of birth, my skin, my hair, or for this incredible task,
Of explaining to all of you today, the answers to these questions, why,
Why does hunger, poverty and pain, tear our hearts and make us cry?
Why would someone say “You are welcome”, when they mean, “I hope you wrought and Die”
Maybe that is why people lie, to mask a monster to seem like a harmless fly.
“Oh look at that man he’s so poor, sick and dirty sprawled out on the floor”
Through some people’s eyes this is true, but what if the man was looking at you?
Is it possible for that man to see, the very same thing you just said to me?
“Look at that poor sick dirty man, does he not know God’s wonderful plan?
Of salvation for one and all, just listen to the Holy Spirit’s call.”
For That man sprawled out on the floor, could possibly be so rich and not poor.
To some people money is as low as dirt, which is only good for buying a shirt.
So I encourage one another don’t look at the skin, or the country of origin, look at their motive behind each act, even if there is no tact. For one man’s polite might not be another man’s delight. And that my mono-ethnic friends, is a cultural fact.
I guess this poem will have to serve, as a way not to preserve
The giant cultural rift like a knife that is two sided, that keeps man ignorantly divided
Just add it then to the box that contains, all of a world traveler’s mysteries and pains.
It is so much cooler when you are actually there, with God as your narrator there is no final scare,
For God will protect you anywhere.
-From the traveling linguist to a people whose hearts are as white as snow