Pambazuka News

Poem: Unfinished Business

Annie Quarcoopome

2007-06-13, Issue 308

We are the results of letters unfinished
When someone immortalized an idea, etchings on paper
Hands cuffed in mid-word
We were born to only half the story
Blaming someone else for telling our history
And we go to fight once in a while
But we stop and think maybe we should sing instead of our stinking present and the blinging future we would like to have

For the worst words we could have heard were the truncated hand-me-downs of leaders cut down in their prime
Once proud baobabs over whom the woodcutter stands, axe in hand, black mask on white face and past and present and no future and emergence of us

The generation whose senses have been lulled by shiny things and skinny people

We are the results of books unread
Because anything that does not bring immediate gratification is not worth our quick-time texting apple-software instant-messaging quicker-than-fast-food moments
We are the children who were not taught to pause
Never stopping
And now we will not fight because we have not used that pause to think things over
Our tongues run over words quicker than you thought we could say them
We will leave you the hearer of words unsaid
We are after all the results of wisdom unheard
Comforters of tears unshed
Fighters in a war
That will not fight itself
Murderers of the silence that only wanted to scream

Bloody knife in hand
Heart racing faster than I have been running all my life
You are dead
And I am your child, the survivor
Of patience unfulfilled
Demons not exorcised


I am the result of that letter you did not finish

© A Quarcoopome

There are 2 comments on this article.

I'm neither a writer nor a critic, but simply one who appreciates poetry.

Annie, do mind getting in touch via the e-amil address above? Would like to know you a little better.

Lovely piece there!

Alexander Quarcoopome

I am blown away. Standing ovation to you for this. The rhythm is exciting. Utterly bewitching. It's beautiful!