A dove with a tree branch in the mouth by Njoke Raisa

When the rain has poured on us for so long

And the freezing cold has collapsed our broad shoulders in our loose sleeves

We are now eager to step out of our huts with torn rooves and bask in the sun

Trapped in the rubbles of our actions, we watched dark clouds gather against us.

Gutters and tunnels couldn’t drain our run-off anymore

Hailstones destroyed the light rooves we thought could shed us

Pillar after pillar, the rains washed down our poorly built homes

This is where this stops, we are breaking out of this place, we waiting for a sign

We need a dove with a tree branch in its mouth.

Everybody likes to have a great fruit on a sunny day.

And the breeze of calmness blowing where children play

We pray the undying moments of love we share come to stay.

We could be birds of different feathers on the treetop chanting beautifully, as the leaves sway

Paddling through deep waters of tears, hoping we make a way

Drop your bags, send forth your hand, make sure your knuckles touch mine

Draw closer, hold me tight, enjoy the great sunshine

Let’s come together and make a wish and dance in the forest in the dark

In the morning, we’ll see a dove with a tree branch in its mouth.

God made the moon to light our paths in the dark

Just so we don’t slip and fall and point fingers at the stars

Why then can’t we be a little light in the room where our freedom was caged?

Why do we hold on to breadcrumbs which we could spread to attract birds that will serenade us to the bosom of oneness??

If the screams I hear are children in the playground, that will be lovely

But if they are being chased by gunmen, my heart bleeds.

The sun is rising, brightness on my face tells the story of a new day

My finger is stretched out through my window, glory is on its way

Expecting a dove with a tree branch in its mouth.

Mother earth swallowed our hatchets, when we were fast asleep

Tilled the ground with our weapons and planted a baobab tree

For as long as that tree lives, so will our love lead

We have wandered helplessly for way too long

Nobody’s fault but ours, we let the awful jokes of our fellow countrymen ignite violence within us.

Something we regret ever doing, something we promise never to do.

Now that blood has dried up, and on the altar of recovery we have cremated hate

Let’s blow the ashes, learn our lessons, pack our bags and set sail to the winning side

With fingers stretched out, we await a dove with a tree branch in its mouth.

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