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Crude Women(For the Niger Delta Women)

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The merchants came at the tick of dawn
Bearing news of glistening black gold

We sent out drums and ululations
At last our land will rip with joy

We shall be awash with minty notes
Our voices loudest at the meet of natives

BUT,
We salivated as they scooped
We stood as they sold us

We stumbled neck-deep in sordid crude
We waded homewards, hungry and haggard!

Don’t ask me now for the story of crude
Else I break down like a shattered dawn

See me soiled in sordid shame
I can’t come to the meet of natives

I am the defaced of the earth
My womb is the tomb of the untold

I am the name invoked in courts of the earth
At remembrances for the despoiled of the planet

My sons are long dead in the banter of crudes
My daughters are raped and long retired

Our fearful fishes have fled
Our farms are a battle field of crudes

The crudes stole our virgin pride
Left us halfway, naked in the creeks

Tell my peers in lands far and fertile
That I am crude-covered, I cannot come

Tell them to still the drums, halt the dance
Turn the crude merchants at the gates!

Tell my peers to return to virgin vegetations
Tell them to resume the fertility dance

For crude is a harbinger of horror
For crude despoils the best of the land

A poem piece by Betty Abah.

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