Tonight, my love, our flags shall embrace wind, hope and wishful thinking
Flapping east, west, north, south as our chains to seas go sinking
They will hang high above our fathers’ graves in rhythm with our laughter
We will plant our hands in the soil and the fruits we’d reap after.
Tonight, our ceaseless wanderings will wane and whither into a wondrous journey
To the hill where our anthems drain our tears into a sea of milk and honey
They shall sing of labours past, present joys and future’s hopes
And we will smile into flames that burn expropriation and subservience’s ropes.
Tonight, our mothers wet with the smell of the market but bathed in glee
Will dance away the skin of sweat and tears at the gospel of being set free
They will drown the sound of hunger in the music of tongues
And say “breathe, my child”, and we will feel hope filling our lungs.
Tonight, we will not end the story of our fatherland in pain and tears
We will build a fire, assemble children and make them burn their fears
They will learn heroes’ names, victory songs and how to fly
They will learn that not only battle and pain, but freedom too has a cry.
Jaci July is a graduate of Chemical engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. He binges on deep poetry that is inspired by topics that hurt to speak of – heartbreak, mourning, hatred and fear. He was shortlisted for the Korean Nigerian Poetry Fiesta award 2017 and has since then has his works in various online platforms and in the Mounting the Moon anthology of Queer Nigerian poems. He writes and blogs from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.