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DEATH ON A STAKE

Capacity crowd was rowdy but tense
After charges and judgment they've read
Hangman's priest pleads for Heaven's grace
On souls declared unfit for human domain

Only moments separate us from great beyond
Unyielding twine to stakes have us nailed
Taunting press still prod us to speak
Death awaits all
Whether God or man so decreed

Surging crowd defy police horsewhips
To see us through the thin divide
Executioners their lethal tools readied
Without regard for their fixed targets

A wave of hand and commander's yell
Triggered fiery thunder from mechanized gunmen
My chest and belly burst apart
Hot bullets shredded my gut and heart

Squirts of singed blood
Doused the morning air
Loud screams of terror, bright starry light
My senses benumb for a moment
Then silence and pitch darkness descend

Broken limp carcasses with drooping heads
Confirm the end was fast, sure and eternal
(Written - c. 1985)
Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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