Strong Verse
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Poetry By
  Abraham Adonduwa

Published on: 4/23/2015
U S of A

He spoke with a slur
And walked with a limp
He called God sixty eight times
I know
I counted
He dialed an international line: +1....
In faraway US of A
We spoke to his wife
Or rather she spoke to us
Told us not to worry
We struggled to hear, the line was blurry
dear old Pastor Mark— oh we didn't know he was a pastor?—
will arrange our travel papers
we will first travel to Cotonou and make our way to New York from there
she will meet with us at JFK airport— John Fitzgerald Kennedy, by the way—
and take us to our temporal accommodations
until they are done processing our green cards with immigration
we needn't bother with the details
It was divine destiny that we met good old Pastor Mark Aremu
Her sweet and kind husband who insisted that they help us
Because it was the will of God
Poor folks that we were
Looking to make our way to paradise
Into the land flowing with milk and honey
Looking to be delivered from a failed state
All we had to do was bring as much money as we could
On such short notice
Pastor Mark had other clients waiting across the porous border
We will cross the red sea and join his wife in Canaan land
We walked through the border behind our limping host
Our two cars already auctioned off for half their prices
Our only house sold
He shuffled us past a lazy pot bellied immigration officer
Who squeezed the naira notes handed to him into his bulging pocket
We lodged at a run down motel
It is only for the night, he assured
Tomorrow morning you will be on your way to New York
By the special grace of God
That night my wife and three kids snored like babies
I could hear them dream of the clean, cobbled streets
Of lights that never sleep
Of fast trains and skyscrapers so tall that they nearly touch the sky
their dreams so loud that my eyes barely closed
By morning he told us to be ready in an hour
He was only going to change all our money into dollars
I watched him sling that ghana must go bag stuffed with our toil and sweat
Over his hunched back shoulder
I watched him cross the dusty street and disappear into thin air
It must have been jazz,
Is all I can say
He must have cast a spell over my watchful eyes.

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