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VULTURES OF SAHEL

Vultures of Sahel, your numbers are great
Yet my people die, starve and stray
Thousands flee ancestral land for the South
But you stay put to bare all bones

Over parched landscape of Sahel
You hover in menacing hordes to spot the weak
Cracked mudden floors of former water ponds
Are littered with remnants of your spoil

Old dad collapsed before reaching food camp
Still within your reach
He lies in his shallow grave
Your hammer-shaped beaks can tear him to shreds
Just like you devoured our dead cattle and goats

I mourn my dead and losses galore
But your nests teem with hefty chicks
Makeshift camps will suffice for home in meantime

Vultures of Sahel, Adieu
'Til the rains return.

(Written - c. 1984)
Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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