Poem: “In Dependence”

Are we not celebrating our freedom behind bars?

Bars packaged like chocolate from Tetteh Quarshie’s cocoa?

And asserting our independence on the sweetness of imported time

In measured and allotted spaces

And guarded bases

Set up by big brothers?

Is this an act of faith?

In the substance and assurance of promises unseen?

Or a fact of blind faith?

Is it hope in a distant fire while we are here in the cold?

Or an act to make us cope.

Is it an undying love?

Or a nostalgic love

For a country that was nearly born

Or one that is long gone?

Do not tell me I am free

When my country is moving forward

In all directions backward

And don’t ask me to celebrate

When my voice is paid for,

And my choice is sponsored

By a democracy that is imported

To decorate the glories of other nations.

Look at my life,

Do not tell me I am free

When my cedi is lowly on the ground

And the truth I live is supplied and rationed by my government,

From Continuity to Positive Change

To A Better Ghana,

Branded and rebranded as

Ghana beyond Aid,

When we know this truth is a lie.

Do not tell me I’m free when we still download our Africa

From American Apps,

And Chinese Huaweis,

And Korean Samsungs.

And import Brazilian hair

To color our minds blonde,

And bleach our melanin pale.

Do not tell me I am free

When the true liars

Lie and swear in the name of God to uphold the colonial sovereignty

Of a military democracy to exploit the rich poverty of my people

And placate them with dead lives

And election promises

In deferment and in dependence on hope.

Do not tell me I am free

Leave me alone!

Leave me alone!

And do not put your truth on me

I am young,

And so is my tongue.

I am still negotiating for my soul

And looking for the light in the Black Star of my motherland.

By Amarkine Amarteifio. Artist. Copyright. 2018. Email: [email protected]

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