People are getting nervous
Is she about to snap?
The never colonised
Sweetheart of the continent
Her second largest population
A dream for many
And nightmare, for many more
into the big wide sea
But not quite touching it
with generations of my very blood
yet it’s only now
That people are getting nervous
Come! It’s time for us to fact check!
Who is dead!
Which flag did he wave!
How much is his name worth at the altar of extraction and give and take!
Yellow, red, green - wear it now and save your life!
Like my people don’t know peace talks
Like your guns didn’t tear up the grounds of gadaa
Just for a little short change
I’ve watched the sun rise and set from this very home
Watched thousands climb out of pits and come back to try again
Reading books to fourth graders under the cool of Bale’s mountain’s
With wrists marked forever by a prisons hold
Ploughing land on the outskirts of the “addis ababa” - the “new flower”
Ya Tuluma tiyyaa!
Nobody really knows that entire bloodlines were wiped out so that Bole could hold the seat of the African union upon you
Returning to the gaming shop in Neqemte’s quiet corner. Finally safe. But not for long. They always come back, angrier than before at their own lives and at what they know of you. I hope you survive.
Nobody wants peace more than the drought shaken land my feet forage on the daily
But I don’t want a peace that can be undone by another deal
made in another house
that comes with another plane
that drops yet another sound from our sky onto my kitchen table
That will not be my fate
Soreti Kadir is an Oromo poet, activist, and journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.