If I Had a Way…
by Ndaba Sibanda

If I had a different passport
would I brook and nurse
all these painful injuries
and indignities and infirmities
associated with endless bungling
and bullying and butchering?

If I had a way I would have
auctioned it off or had it really
shut down — renovated, rebranded,
revived and released to the communities
of emerging and truly united and civilised nations.
Can I please file divorce papers if its nationhood
would continue to relegate others as second class?

If it could rewind the hand of time
would it make the same old decisions
or do the same old actions it did when
the euphoria of freedom and power was
upon it or would it move with caution
and maturity and treat each and every
citizen with the dignity they deserve?

If I had a way I would choose my own
neighbours and would not live with people
who delight in choosing and tolerating bunglers —
just because they are beneficiaries or tribal loyalists —
but that is as far as it goes since I cannot choose
neighbours and neither can I have my own chosen
leader in a high office or be left alone in an island.
Can`t I disown some people and live in my island?

If this nation were one, our prosperity or suffering
would be one, or would make us one—but clearly
there is a huge gap between those who always have
or enjoy opportunities in terms of jobs and education
and business and politics and rights and everything else
ahead of other citizens. Can`t suffering unite people
and make them see their follies and friends and fiends?

If I had a way weapons of destruction would not be
in careless hands and peace would not be in pieces
because prejudice would be replaced by justice,
corruption would give way to responsibility,
bungling would be swiftly booted out
…and who would not want to live
in a prospering, peaceful
and orderly society?

IMAGE: “The Double Dream of Spring” by Giorgio de Chirico (1915).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ndaba Sibanda has contributed to various literary projects, including It`s TimeFree Fall and Windows In The Sky. Ndaba’s poems, essays, and short stories have been featured in many journals and magazines, such as: The Piker Press, Bricolage, The Dying Goose, Whispering Prairie Press, Saraba Magazine,, Jungle Jim, Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine , The Metric, Unlikely Stories, Santa Fe Writers Project – SFWP Journal, Elohi Gadugi Journal, The Subterranean Quarterly, Miracle , Red Bird Chapbooks, The Joker, Florida Flash, Fjords Review, storySouth, Annapurna Magazine, Festival Of Language, quiet Shorts, The African Street Writer, Poetry, Books Live , Whispers, and Poetrysoup. He received a Starry Night ART School scholarship in 2015.