They Too Are the Earth – Niyi Osundare

They too are the earth
The swansongs of beggars sprawled out
The brimming gutters
They are the earth
Under snakeskin shoes and Mercedes tyres

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They too are the earth
The sweat and grime of
Millions hewing wood and hurling water
They are the earth
Muddy every pore like naked moles

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They too are the earth
The distant groans of thousands buried alive
In hard unfathomable mines
They are the earth
Of gold dreams and blood banks

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They too are the earth
The dying distant deaths
In narrow abandoned hamlets
They are the earth
Women battling centuries
Maleficent slavery

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Are they of this earth
Who fritter the forest and harry the hills
Are they of this earth
Who live that earth may die
Are they?

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