There is fire on the mountain and everyone is taking to their heels,

The rabid cancer festers on unclean bodies and it needs time to heal,

I woke up flawlessly and my friend woke up in a different time zone,

I ask whether she made it across in a blizzard of cyclones to the city of Bologna,

She said she woke up to gunshots and that was the last straw,

She said the country had gone from walking to crawling on all fours,

And laughed when I still prayed for the things that didn’t matter to her anymore,

I looked around me and my circle grew thinner,

The only receipts were snowballs and motivational quotes for Ginger,

Power no longer lay in the cash we had but we had the colour of our passports,

We competed to survive and racing contests ended in the airport,

Even the grass seemed greener on the other end and the sun didn’t seem to set,

Or was there something in the water that turned ugly ducklings to stunning brunettes,

It took one more loss to end up in the queue to join the line of broken dreams,

Under the umbrellas of different scholarship and travel schemes,

Watching each person take a leap of faith into the belly of the big bird,

Clutching our expectations in our tiny suitcases moving like one herd,

With tears in our eyes at the many promises we left behind,

We forge ahead with the Nigerian spirit to survive,

The pangs of winter on our baby lungs to build castles in the snow,

Not resisting the temptation to update our pages with a sun-kissed glow,

We left to make hay when the leaves fall in the summer,

And stack dollar bills for bumpers of hummers when we turn up in our numbers.

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