On her last toe-Deborah Akugbe



These were the thoughts flashing through our minds

From the 10th of April through the 29th of May

When she was on a boat

Upon the stagnant waters of economic crises.


“Clothe me,

Clothe me!”


She trudged from side to side,

In the deep, cold mud,

Rain battering her head.

Worms wriggling

Through and through,

In and out

The open sores—

Now decaying—

In her own flesh.


She cries out,

But no one comes.


Often it seems

There might be a glimmer of light,

Some hope, so she dreams

But as suddenly as this light shines,

It disappears.


She begs,

“Help me!”

But to no avail.


There’s a bundle of hands

Tugging at her poor flesh,

Tearing her apart,

Limb by limb,

Breaking her bone by bone,

Toe by toe.


Some have become food

For those who look up from the mud,

Hoping that she will rise.


And when light seems an arm’s length away,

We hope to finally shoulder her

Out of the pit,

And its misery,


That the last toe might be groomed to health,

That maybe Nigeria has hope

Now that a new power has the reins.


Left with inflation, starvation, depression, as our oars

Left with uncertainty as our courage

As to whether the next reef would split her apart

Or her pieces will hold on still





2 thoughts on “On her last toe-Deborah Akugbe

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