We Think It Is Safer by Eddie Awusi

We think it is safer
To look the other way
When it is our neighbour’s gate
Pestilence has invaded.
We think it is safer
Not to give a helping hand
When it is our neighbour’s roof
Fire has gutted.
We think it is safer
To borrow more distance
To add up to the yards
We already enjoyed
When it is our neighbour’s barn
The yam beetles has invaded.
We think it is safer
To treat our poor neighbours
Like sub-humans
Worse than leprosy
By shutting them out
With fences
As high as the heavens
And curtains
As deadly as the razor teeth
Of a hungry crocodile.
We forget to remember
That neither the angry pestilence
Nor the starving crocodile
Is a kin to man.
We forget to remember
That the inferno
Which eats an acre
Can likewise devour a thousand acres.
When hunger hits our neighbour’s door step
We think it is safer
To be passive
And we throw our abundance to his face.
When it is our neighbour’s house
The tumor of despair has besieged
We take our delight and beg our pardon.
When it is our neighbour’s abode
The first cries and screams and shrieks
Are ringing from
We proud ourselves of a safe Haven.
But happiness is a no man’s land
And civil war is nobody’s first name
And your peace might be the next in line
To be scuttled.

Eddie Awusi is a Nigerian writer of Isoko extraction.
 He graduated from the prestigious Delta state university,
 Abraka in 2007, where, he got a Bachelor of Arts degree
 in English and Literature. He has been published in Dissident
 Voice, The Australian Times, Tuck Magazine and other
 numerous magazines and anthologies. The pen and paper;
 are his playmates.

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