Stone by Nick Makoha

The best thing I did was
move my body from one side of the world
to the other. This required a visa
which required a bribe.

The bribe placed in the palm
of a man with a gun,
took my mother’s monthly wage packet.
The man with a gun

let you speak to a clerk.
He too wanted a wage
because it would be his job
to have words with a judge

for another month’s salary.
The official wanted his bribe
so listened to the clerk
escorted by the soldier as he held his gun.

As I sat with my mother
at the steps of the court
drinking soda waiting
for one man to say yes, my mother said

In Uganda a bribe stops men
doing nothing. It rolls away the stone.
Her sips were slower than mine,
each separated by this prayer.

From: https://andotherpoems.com/2013/03/05/nick-makoha/

Date: 2010

By: Nick Makoha (1974- )

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