Song of the Drunk (After Okot P’Bitek’s ‘Song of Malaya’)


by Chime Justice Ndubuisi

Welcome home
Young warrior, valiant and strong.
I heard of your prowess in lands
Far away, across seven seas and mountains,
As you defeat and keep on defeating
While your ancestral obi is lying in ruins
Defeated not by hand or ammunitions,
Defeated by something armless and lifeless: loneliness.
Where now is your boot?
Where now are all your war spoils?

Welcome home
Young sailor, vigorous and tireless.
I heard you scanned the entire Western horizon
In search of dry land
But when none was in sight
You went down deep in the sea
Laid down your head on a rock
And slept, breathing inside water like fishes do.
Where now is your crew?
What happened to the iced-fishes
And the Okporoko that you used to chew?

Welcome home
Mother and sisters prostitutes.
I heard you always smile at men
As they lure you to bed…

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