October 22, 2021

(For John Boyega)

John Boyega (John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega, better known as John Boyega, is a British-Nigerian actor and producer.)

By Emman Shehu

“lord knows I have been called by what I look like
more than I have been called by what I actually am.”
– Hanif Abdurragh
Lets put you
on the auction
block for twenty-four hours
in your new birthday suit.

Lets trade skin tones
at the wrong side
of that town not for long
only sixty minutes.

Lets give you an ancestry
that brings your forebears
shackled in galleys across oceans
survivors of cruel crossings.

Lets get you in imperious dreadlocks,
afrocuts or crafty weaves
on a fake wanted list
at the traffic lights.

On this open day
lets roughly hang you by the neck
on the limbs of a tree
of our choice for wanting to be free.

Lets get you…

© Emman Usman Shehu

Emman Shehu Emman Usman Shehu is the Editor of Cavalcade and Dugwe and founder of the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF) at www.abujawriters.com.
His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Okike, Kakaki , Sentinel Poetry, PoetryWales and Stone Throw. He has published three poetry collections: Questions For Big Brother, Open Sesame and Icarus Rising.
He also heads the International Institute of Journalism, (IIJ) Abuja.

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