pardon me father if I am a disappointment to what you expect of me
pardon me father
if I cannot slaughter other tribesmen if I do not say my prayers in the morning if I turn my back
on some of your advice
although your blood runs in my veins although I too have been a nomad although I’ve slept under roofless huts
eyeing the moon
and raising my hands to God
and envying His might
time has unfolded many strange sheets
and spread them between us
time has uprooted me
time has transplanted me to grounds
where prayer is of no use,
and mother pardon me for digging your bones out (your bones that were buried here)
if I had forgotten that you were buried here.
In: Poems of Black Africa. Edited by Wole Soyinka. Oxford, 1975, pp.