Bridges — Jerusha Kananu

We watch in pain as they plunder 
The middle class worry and wander 
Peasants live in wonder 

Big bellies parade slums masks covering the stench 
They with no hope of tomorrow in hot sun sweat 
Listening but not hearing the empty blubber
by bellies under tent’s shade
Hoping they will drop fifty shillings
for the malnourished child's feed

Dust from big taxpayer range blind them, they don’t see
prime Minister leave 
The only six public toilets‘ contents lack space
and their smell sickens 
They can’t serve them all, they pee and poop in buckets
for the poop man to dispose nearby 
The poop man knock their door in the morning 
They spent the day listening to prime Minister
so no money for poop man 
The heat in slum houses is unbearable
and the poop is boiling in bucket

Coin of the day take malnourished child
to nearby government hospital 
Nurses are on strike, no drugs, no doctors, slum dwellers
parade all sick of hunger 
Police chase them from hospital
because they don’t have masks 

The newshour, prime Minister reported to have built houses
in the slum, hundreds of billions used 
They stare in wonder, prime Minister came to ask for their help 
He talked of building bridges initiative and need
for voting for constitutional changes 
The country needs more leaders and the need
to increase constituencies 
Do they have to burn even the small rotten bridges
leading slum dwellers to national cake?
Who will pay the park of wolves that they want to increase?
The prices for commodities shoot overnight 
Another day, no pay for poop man, the day spent in hospital 

Citizens views needed on constitutional changes 
Trillions set aside for a yes or no campaign 
Children back to slums teachers on strike 
The competition for toilets is worse in the slums,
stench is unbearable 
The stench of the greed by ruling class is worse 
Global warming has made the sun mad
that it threatens to burn slum houses

Miroslava Panayotova ©2020

Poem ©2021 Jerusha Kananu
All rights reserved

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