Nobody knocked the door that brought down the house
But somebody struck the match that burnt up the mouse
Everyone wanted to accept the wealth they can condone
But little did they know they will have to walk alone.
Strike the shepherd, the flock disperses
Little lambs scouring for forage
Eating and hitting the roof like parasites
Men and women hungry for all ages.
We will die! We will die alone, they chorused
After we have walked together on this path
Each our part played to the tune of the gods
We will be the dancers, prancing stags like cats
The sport of immortals played with human lives.
But when the plague hit us hard,
And our streets were stripped naked as prostitutes
When the wind blew into our nostrils
The dust of the earth we have always known to hug
Will we choose to walk alone by choice?
Who will go for us?! I heard a shout
Who will go for us to cart all the bells?!
Our ears have become deaf from the silence
Of our hunger and the noise of our stomach
Our eyes have seen the glory of our folly
And we have been humbled by the price of life
That we have so much taken for granted
Who will go for us, I heard them ask again.
But the town crier calling for volunteers has
Built a bunker under piles of gold and he has
Stocked up his barns with tubers of new yam
He took away our liver and got foreign silver for himself
He bought our passports and auctioned our transports.
The town crier can’t shout no more, he’s pregnant.
So we walk alone, everyday and even now
We walk alone towards the bayonet of soldiers
In our beautiful rags we tag along with empty cans
And even soiled the earth with solid tears…
But no, we will never walk alone
The ties that bind us, though isolated, we will knit
The keys to every of our houses, though locked, we will oil
Over the noises of our generators we will sing:
We will never walk alone
We are united by separation
We are together in isolation
We are, bonded by the ties that break
Chat heads and ring tones like rainbows will speak hope
Zoom calls and flash gengs, like tear gas will smoke out our depressions
We will face our books in the chimes of time like tick tock
We have challenged ourselves to never be alone.
So we, will never, walk alone.
Deji Adeyemi is a Nigerian author who blogs at Conversation Series