If I die today

Tell my grandchildren that the road to my grave was dusty

And rough

That the potholes had claws that clung onto car tyres

Tell them the road tossed us this way and that

As my elders took me to the graveyard

My life was still and by body was battered

As I lay in the coffin like cold porridge in a pot


If I die today

Tell my grandchildren that I left things undone

And that songs of mercy and revelations were being sang

With croaky voices and unsure lyrics

One singer had just emerged from the forest

Where axes made noises and throats released screams

But his ears were asleep and he didn’t hear a thing

His eyes were clogged with political sewage and

He didn’t catch a glimpse of anything

But now he sees and hears and he even knows

That lives were overthrown and

Screams were hushed by the sound of sharp things


If I die today

Tell my grandchildren that the future looks dim

But things that lie beyond the future can shine

And drip with hope and wanted realities

Tell them that today can get up and run

If they hold its hand and

Show it how to dodge stones and thorns

And all those things that make people tear speeches

Thump the street with their feet and

Speak with their eyes and hands


Tell my grandchildren to tread carefully

To watch their steps

And to remember that many lives are alive beneath the soil

Tell them we want to rest in peace

As we watch them piece up things we left broken

Tell them not to dance on us

Not to swear lies with our name because we have ears

We see and even know

When they are cooking a sauce of deceit inside their heads

Or when they are sweating twice as much

To reap clean things and live real lives


And if I die today

Don’t scramble to get me a medal

Or twist my history to make me a hero

I don’t need it

I don’t need imagined truths because they stink


And tell my children to beware of wealth and poverty

They burn

If held with bare hands

Tell them to live life simply

To avoid hiding cash under pillows

And burying money beneath bungalows

We need those notes in the open

Where tiny hands beg for coins

And powerful hands beg for dollars

From partners in development


Remind my children and my grandchildren

To snap out of docility

Because that is not humility

Tell them to do things and

Avoid shutting up those who speak and act




5 thoughts on “IF I DIE TODAY

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