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African Writers’ Corner

Secrets of the Ethiopian Streets

Homage to social workers

Amira Ali

2009-09-17, Issue 448

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She belongs to
the corner
whose whispers
never reveal
the secrets of
the owner,

guard the shadow
of time
leaves her son
to the streets.

A time
so deformed,
words prostitute
a child's soul,

Thee Word is
as necessity

Feminine divine
Losing her
still night
suggesting, copulating
a pilgrim
of the night,

twisting her afro curls
seductive moves
nightly enchantment,
soul killer
empty delight.

Body traded
for the price
of kissing
her life,
reined in
the capricious horses
of passion

she lays
destiny down to
feel the slivers of pain
in dreams and when awake,
hidden pain
eyes reveal
what words conceal.

Pitiless life
making her stay
in a wild desert
black dust of body
desolated by floods
of mortal life

she heaps abet
in the abyss
of the night
living no more
of fate


* Amira Ali holds an MA in International Relations and Conflict
Resolution. She is a freelance writer, poet and activist.
* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Readers' Comments

Let your voice be heard. Comment on this article.

Secrets of the Ethiopian Streets could have aptly been renamed 'Secrets of the African Streets'; especially after having watched CNN's presentation of Joburg's 'prostitutes' in light of the forthcoming World Cup.
It is a powerful poem and congratulations in order. What is probably lucking in the general discourse is how state failure leads to such cultural decadence.


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