Literary Zone

Poetry: Lines from Sir Milton Margai’s page of April 27

30 April 2020 at 10:39 | 2129 views

Lines from Sir Milton Margai’s Page of April 27

By Saidu Bangura, Praia, Cape Verde. April 27, 2020.

Sir, I have taken some lines from your page of April 27
though I know you will not want to read these lines today,
April 27, 59 years after you read that page from dependence -
But your children of the land that you love will read them today.

Sir, you admonished us to be united and confront problems
facing our land together as one people, in a country
worth living in, worth serving, a worth supporting country -
We have ever become divided since your departure to the realms.

Sir, on April 27, you read the page from which I took these lines
as a mark of an independent nation, an honest and hardworking people,
a people who should work together in support of your people’s lives –
Those who come after you have done a disservice to your people.

Sir, because of greed, the leaders we have had have made us beggars:
some have run away from your mineral rich, prosperous and fertile land
in search of progress, good life, security, social and economic justice, and …
Those who come after you have changed course and made your children mendicants.

Sir, for 59 years, we have not been able to see signs of independence.
Sir, for 59 years, our misleaders have not been able to care for your people.
Sir, for 59 years, our natural and human resources have only benefitted other countries
and people because our misleaders are worse than those who were there before you.
Sir, for 59 years, your people have only known deprivation, sufferings, woes, calamities,
wailings, because our misleaders are dishonest, dishonourable, kleptomaniacs – yes
and inept to read your page of April 27, 59 years ago, and make your land, our land
worth living in, worth serving, a worth supporting country, a self-sustaining land!

Sir, would you mind coming back and then you and I will rewrite that page
And then read the words that will take our land to the Promise Land?
Not those of April 27, 59 years ago, but fresh new words on a new page,
Words of renewed hope, of our resilience, words of a new age in a renewed land.

Or do you want us to remain in-dependent, the in-dependence we make of April 27?

Saidu Bangura holds a PhD in Translation, Communication and Culture with a specialty in English (Socio-)Linguistics from the University of Las Palmas, Spain. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Cape Verde.