World Poetry Day, eh?
I think you meant
The English Language Poets Day, right?
You adulate the English language poet.
But where is the Xhosa poetess?
Can you name and celebrate her?
Where are the Amharic poets
Masters of the Wax and Gold style?
Who was Kebede Mikael?
Who is Alemtsehay Wedajo?
Do you even know she exists?
Can you think of an Oromo language poet
Or a Tigrigna, a Swahili lyricist?
How about the Somali
Who breathes poetry like a fresh air?
Oh, no, he must do it in English
Like his fiery sister Warsan Shire
Or his Ethiopian neighbor Tsegaye Gebremedhin
To wear your “laureate” hat
And not to be forgotten
Just as another pirate of the Horn, right?
We have to write in English, like this,
For you to acknowledge our existence…
Or we must publish in French
Or dominate the world like the Chinese
For you to realize the river of poetry
that flows in our veins.
We were here ahead of you, waxing.
We are here behind you, fixing.
But we will be here, nonetheless.
You can’t erase us.