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By Leonard W. Maero

You stood shoulders high, in the entire region Your three long nostrils pointed to the sky, breathing out white fumes Every person that passed by couldn't ignore you Your sweetness trickled to many families around and beyond Men walked with shoulders high, their pockets never complaining During the day, they were busy, ensuring your heart never stopped In the evening, people would saunter to the market,

a smile playing on their bright faces They could afford a mug of coffee, catching up with friends after work Children went to school and women were happy in their homes Trading centers around you sprouted into satellite towns The one outside your home was the busiest one, never going to sleep People from beyond came to camp, to assist the natives spend A group of people, high on pedestal sat in a big hotel They had seen your sweetness and wanted to taste Not just a taste, but to lick every sweetness Like starving hyenas, they squeezed every pint of your life

They left you on your own, on your own to fall down They pretended to be busy when we asked them about your welfare Little by little, you started getting weak Everyone around got worried when their monthly journey was cut short That your sweetness had not reached to where yellow stones were stored But we loved you and continued ferrying stems to you We could not leave the stems to rot in the fields Some were asked not to come and serve you They were told you didn't need them Your three nostrils that produced white fumes stopped working Machines that fed you with stems were left to rot and rust Many people were disgruntled after you breathed your last In disillusionment, many opted to set ablaze their stems

and others opted to uproot them

That there was nowhere to ferry the stems Every day I pass by your home,

I can't stop stealing a glance at your compound The compound that is now colonized by big, tall weeds What used to be your own stems have been choked Will you ever wake up and release your sweetness Who will stand up to lift you back on your feet I'm waiting and waiting I'm waiting for that day your heart will start pumping.

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