Six Thousand Naira
I couldn’t help noticing
The guards at the secretariat gate
Early to work and staying till very late
Sure this strain of their lives fleecing
Twenty-four hours continually flowing
Their lives throwing
Day after day, week after week
Their essence orbing out getting weak
Month after month, I wonder
What they slave for… I wonder
Have they no choice?
Is that the hidden point? They have no voice?
Have they no lives?
Have they no wives?
Are they simply animals of the wild?
Have they no child?
I wonder my thoughts going in different ways
The wondering fills my days
I had to ask to know their pay
To know what has seized their say
The heavy sums they have
Forsaken everything else in the world to their grave
In hunger and gloom
Leading slowly to a deadening doom
I found the revelation:
Six thousand naira full!
For all the work and that time? What consternation!
Six thousand for a month full!
No wonder they can’t rent a room
Keep a family and just eat gloom
They can barely feed
Their future eaten by vultures’ greed
They nurse their dreams and carry on
Living in the hope of every dawning sun
They are the casual and low
Those whose earnings grow
Dwarfishly. Who cares what becomes of them?
What should family and nation mean to them?
We hold the keys and power
And on their lives tower
We budget in trillions
And command the billions
Not for their sake
But the greediness of us bloating on the national cake.
Dr. Simon Terver Chieshe is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Benue State Branch. He lives and writes from Makurdi, Benue State.