Poem: “The News from Home” by Kofi Anyidoho

The News from Home 

I have not come this far 
only to sit by the roadside 
and break into tears 
I could have wept at home 
without a journey of several thorns 

I have not spread my wings 
so wide only to be huddled into corners 
at the mere mention of storms 

To those who hear of military coups 
and rumours of civil strife 
and bushfires and bad harvests at home 
and come to me looking for fears and tears 
I must say I am tired 
very tired 
tired of all devotion to death and dying. 

I too have heard of 
all the bushfires 
the sudden deaths 
and fierce speeches 

I have heard of 
all the empty market stalls 
the cooking pots all filled with memory and ash 

And I am tired 
tired of all these noises of 
condolence from those who 
love to look upon the anger of the hungry 
nod their heard and stroll back home 
worrying and forever worrying 
about overweight and special diet for dogs and cats. 

Like an orphan stranded 
on dunghills of owners of earth 
I shall keep my sorrows to myself 
folding them with infinite care 
corner upon corner 
taking pains the foldings draw circles 
around hidden spaces where still 
our hopes grow roots even 
in this hour of finite chaos 

Those who sent their funeral clothes 
to the washerman 
awaiting the mortuary men to come 
bearing our corpse in large display 
Let them wait for the next and next 
season only to see how well earthchildren 
grow fruit and even flower 
from rottenness of early morning dreams 

I am tired 
tired of all crocodile condolence.

— Kofi Anyidoho

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