07.03.2022 Poem


By Amarkine Amarteifio
07.03.2022 LISTEN

Are we not celebrating our freedom behind bars?
Bars packaged like chocolate from Tetteh Quarshie’s cocoa?
And asserting our independence on the sweetness of imported time
In measured and allotted spaces 
And guarded bases
Set up by big brothers?
Is this an act of faith?
In the substance and assurance of promises unseen?
Or a fact of blind faith?
Is it hope in a distant fire while we are here in the cold?
Or an act to make us cope. 
Is it an undying love?
Or a nostalgic love
For a country that was nearly born
Or one that is long gone?
Do not tell me I am free
When my country is moving forward 
In all directions backward 
And don’t ask me to celebrate 
When my voice is paid for,
And my choice is sponsored 
By a democracy that is imported 
To decorate the glories of other nations. 
Look at my life,
Do not tell me I am free 
When my cedi is lowly on the ground
And the truth I live is supplied and rationed by my government,
From Continuity to Positive Change 
To A Better Ghana 
Branded and rebranded as 
Ghana beyond Aid
When we know this truth is a lie. 
Do not tell me I’m free when we still download our Africa 
From American Apps
And Chinese Huaweis
And Korean Samsungs. 
And import Brazilian hair 
To color our minds blonde
And bleach our melanin pale.
Do not tell me I am free
When the true liars
Lie and swear in the name of God to uphold the colonial sovereignty 
Of a military democracy to exploit the rich poverty of my people 
And placate them with dead lives 
And election promises 
In deferment and in dependence on hope.
Do not tell me I am free
Leave me alone!
Leave me alone!
And do not put your truth on me
I am young,
And so is my tongue.
I am still negotiating for my soul
And looking for the light in the Black Star of my motherland. 
Amarkine Amarteifio. 2018. Copyright 
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