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A Country of Colours

& so suddenly, a country so strong
becomes as soft as a mist –
everything with breath recedes into the silence

the whole city runs for safety
until only emptiness is left behind –
a vanishing ritual

In this poem,
the prayer we use in emergencies lies empty
god, like us, is running from the bullets

to erase our fears,
she says the morning sun will come
& the shooting will stop

under the sheets

& when the morning comes,
the sun is just the sun –
hope carved into a yellow then left to die again.

now tell me,
when tomorrow is here, will we not be running again?

In the end, she says a prayer with two words:
run, amen.

Poemify Magazine, Issue IV (Peace) Poemify Bookstore 1
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to cross the t’s and dot the i’s

this time around i decide not to run
instead i stand there in silence
& wait for a miracle
Ma’s body lies lifeless on the asphalt &
besides her, a pool of blood is flowing from her chest
i want to say a prayer, where her puddle of blood will blue into an ocean & wash my body to a safer shore
where a bullet is not the only way to conclude a story
but unlike everywhere else, here the tongue is just a bridge ferrying saliva
it will not speak for the dying men
i long to be different
if i am ever born into something else,
let me be a leaf,
for at its death, the falling leaf is a blade looking for the wrists of the wind
& though it reaches the earth without slitting the wind, at least it tried
i want to try too
to protest & fail

About the Author:

Isaac Kanyinji is a Zambian poet and an award-winning short story writer. He writes because he believes writing is one of the few spaces where people are, at least free, or just close to free from judgment. When not writing, he plays a lot of chess and listens to reggae music.

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