Branded: a Feast in Life

The dusty haze swept through the trees, urging
The lazy leaves that had survived the fading season
My garment danced to its tune, loosened by the
Seductive symphony in play. The heat and the dust
Made every step sticky, I had been walking for miles
And my feet were weak
We were spread through the entire length of the way
Leading to survival
The rich folk detested the stink; almost feared it
And their fear leads to hatred as we had witnessed
In the past
They would have ended us altogether and so we had
Held our life by flight
So many times the breath in my chest felt like the last
But the comrade ahead brought strength to my
Shaky knees

The gate stood majestic and awe-inspiring
About ten feet tall, it stood with an amored coating
It also seemed to emit the heat of the sun
The structure before us was built in the rock
That famous rock of which we had heard and told
Tales, finally it was real, tangible, to be held and felt
We raised our voices and sang aloud, a sound of
Shouting vibrated through, until the earth shook,
Threatening to shift from its place
A curious eye peeled from over the wall, followed by
A sneering nose; one look at the dust-painted eyelashes,
Patched lips and worn-out garments that lay in
Haphazard array, and we were turned away
The vibrations of singing turned to wailing, and when
Our physical exertion grew soft, the silence only brought
Proof of mirth and feasting that raged within the great
Barrier before us
As far as the eyes could see behind, turning away
A wilderness and abandoned stretched endless
Lost and scattered, each one crawled and fell

The pits in rocks were kinder than the layer
Of death above
Darkness and stench of open caves welcomed
Lean vultures
The messengers of death waited and stalked in a
Modest pose for our decay to ensue
Marked to be devoured, everyone fought to keep
Their eyelids open. The light waxed weak and dim
And we saw the end draw near.
But then a large vessel charged through the brown
Thickets and in a flash, light flooded the path as the
Ravenous beasts took to flight
We opened our eyes to a dream: a feast, exotic and
Assorted lay spread at a table in great expanse
Without hindrance or judgement, everyone dug in,
Unrestrained, amidst the wicked stewards pleading and
Fixed to unified crosses of steel; bounded and
Condemned

– Patrice Idoko

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