Published On: Fri, Sep 11th, 2020


I follow the trails in the kochia bushes
And find the age-old footprints of the Diamond 26 and the dew-fresh shoe prints of sobbing children escaping to go to school, backpacks caught in the prickly thorns of the thickets
because the gendarmes turned them back at the border.

I hear the lizards scurrying about without borders
I watch the mockingbirds take off with no flight plans
And I swear I’ve seen this green iguana somewhere before
without a pass to cross
from Colebay to Bellevue
from French Quarter to Belvedere

How did we then become immigrants
in this land of pelicans and salt ponds
stopped from moving freely from North to South, East to West
in the name of a faceless virus
roaming the earth, claiming lives
and livelihoods even here in this speck of our hood?

How long will they keep keeping us apart
mothers from daughters, fathers from sons; lover from the lovelorn
while we sulk and curse and drool?

But they can’t turn the virus back from the border;
they can’t stop the gale with container walls at the frontier;
and like the virus and the storm
We acknowledge no massa borders
We respect no partition treaties
accept no border controls
for we were born free and borderless
and will die free and borderless
on this island we claim
in the name of our forefathers
and of their sons
and of all our ancestral spirits.

Fabian Badejo