Where I’m from
by Ojullu Opiew
I’m from the dry crops, from the piles of animals hides, and the croaking frogs in the ponds by nights,
I’m from the women who walked fifty miles to fetch water,
I’m from the herbalist, from the place where the average population can’t afford living costs,
Where higher education is hidden in the abysmal well,
I’m from suasion, where you have to grease the wheel,
to achieve what you want!
I’m from the girls who are married off to the old men,
from those ladies viewed as objects of wealth,
where educating a girl is a waste of money.
I’m from the place where girls are sought for partners by their martanal fathers,
Only because the stepbrothers had married,
I’m from false accusation, where youth from an entire town are termed thugs,
Where everybody is a suspect of banditry,
I’m from disdain, and denial from my birthright,
That’s about my place, what about your place?
Do you hears such words as maltreatment and bribery?
Do you move freely without the sound of antiquing racism tapping its feet on your back?
Tell me if you sleep peacefully without expecting, bang bang around your hut.
I want to know if there are such jokes as inferior and superior ethnics in your place?
I told you I’m from laboring, where my grandfather is forced to work on coffee farms,
in unfavorable weather without wages,
where my father cuts down the trees on the roadside as part of his personal hygiene.
I’m from the place where my grandparents live as refugees on my ancestral soil.
I’m from my history and my culture,
I’m from my kinfolk who marry with dignity.
I’m from the drumbeats in your chest,
from the beads that dangle on your necks
I’m from a search for my lost identity,
I’m from the payment of dowry,
from the kingship and hierarchy,
I’m from his majesty, Ochudho!
So who is your king?