Family and friends batten down the hatches,
Tell-tale signs, tensions plain on the wall.
How soon until we are left in crutches,
Wielding clubs and sticks, striking away grenades?
Just anything, escaping the fusillade.
Destroy! Destroy!! The poor man’s house,
With shelling on the roof.
The rich do also cry, and scamper like mice:
For what was built in years is destroyed in a poof.
In this fight, the green grasses suffer,
For big money may not buy them a buffer.
Watch! Watch!! Say a silent prayer;
Oh! That ye may evade the grip of the slayer.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, no time to sleep.
Shivers and squirms, cold of the nights;
No place to go, no place to keep.
Ah! The infamy. We dread the night.
Run! Run!! Don’t ask who is chasing.
For while children at death’s door teeter,
The enemies are maiming and raping.
And as brave men are taken by the grim reaper,
All is fair,
As our flesh they tear.
Burdened with abounding uncertainty,
We may be rescued from behind this cabin.
In the face of fatal shots, limbs hanging in frailty,
One thing is really certain;
You die or survive.
For the latter we strive.
When two Greeks meet, there is a tug of war,
And selfish battles they fight to win it all.
Conquest prostrates on either sides, this too is sure.
To tell this tale, this story of war,
I tasted it. So raw.
Now, let there be no rancour. Not anymore.
Let there be peace in all the world.
Deleteh Bank is a no mere storyteller who writes from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. He combines attention to the grasping and perfection of clinical skills and his love for creative writing with a perfect blend of hard play and fun. He has received a prize for short story writing from The Association of Nigerian Authors, Rivers State Branch and has been published on African Writer.