All of us have a purpose to fulfill in life. We have devised different strategies to fulfill that purpose. Writing is my vocation. It’s with language that I have chosen to contribute to making this world a better place for me, you, my descendants, and yours. I write essays, stories, and poems. I write books, short stories, and poetry. However, in a world where some voices are shut down by those who do not want some stories to be told, I have reasons to be afraid. Guess who I’m afraid of? Common People!

© 2018 A. Happy Umwagarwa
All Rights Reserved.

I’m Afraid Of Common People

I have taken a pen and a paper to write
But my hands are shaking with fear
Am I afraid of my human right?
Or am I not allowed to shed a tear?
I cannot write sitting upright.

The last time I was given a green light
To tell my story, I failed to be sincere
Why did I have to be too polite?
To those who considered me not a peer.
Would they have started a gunfight?

They surround me as an egg white
I am like an egg yolk that could not jeer
Why do they want to shut my inner light?
Maybe my words are like a bombardier
But I am afraid, I don’t mean a fight.

Internet gives all of us the freedom to write
Their hatred appears on its pages as a spear
Why do they take away my expression right?
All I want is to write about love and cheer
Otherwise we might all disappear overnight.

Books I write, poems I learnt to recite
But I don’t know what to do with this fear
Am I afraid of a comparable to snakebite?
Or that I would be a girl they would smear?
Oh God, I cannot pretend it’s all right.

I am not afraid of those considered almighty
I would be lying to say I’ve seen them near
Have they ever caught me with a dynamite?
Or my words come out as dank and drear.
Oh, please forgive me for my foresight.

I am not afraid of the heroes of their fight
I am sure they know I was never in Zaire
Has somebody told them I have a hindsight,
About those whose smiles are insincere?
Or that I tell grey stories as a playwright?

But I can’t write like a free black kite
No, I cannot write in this atmosphere.
Do you want me to disappear at midnight?
Please forgive me if I fail to persevere
They might take me to my brothers’ burial site.

Why do I continue to feel this fear?
Was I born a crime like Trevor Noah?
Are my words too much of a rainbow?
Oh, God, please help your girl.
I am afraid, I might burst and spill it.

Common people are everywhere around me.
They look like those who murdered my father.
They remind me my brothers’ lives did not matter.
They look like the tall men who shamed my body.
Oh, no, my poem cannot rhyme anymore.

Freedom is all I am asking for.
Freedom to smile at all my childhood friends.
Those who ended up in refugee camps.
And those who ended up in one-dollar building.
They are all sweet and nice to me.

What’s wrong with common people?
When the wind blows left, they follow.
When the wind blows right, they follow.
And, we, who do not take sides, they despise.
Oh, common people, please let be uncommon.

I hate radio talks and television shows.
Forgive me to say I am nauseated by what they say.
They told us to kill, then we killed, that’s their talk.
It was all because of the politicians and the soldiers.
No, please, my father was killed by common people.

They sang and danced to please those in power.
They took their wishes as their commands.
They cursed prisoners and insulted free thinkers.
They dehumanized those they would kill tomorrow.
Oh, what shall I do with my troubling thoughts?

Maybe a rhyme poem would keep me in the box.
I mean the box of those who do no question.
Those who don’t compare the past with the present.
Those who don’t care about the future of our sky.
Let me take a glass of wine I will be right back.

Please give me a pen and a paper I want to write.
I have decided I will concur this burning fear.
I will write to the friends who might contrite
I will write to the friends who might revere.
Oh, I will write to those who might reunite.

Eh, I said bring a pen and a paper before I ignite.
Or should I turn to Facebook as a barking deer.
Some say blogging would give me a spotlight.
But, I believe books last beyond a school year.
Anyway, I will write as if it was my human right.

Please, common people, let me be uncommon.

My name is Umwagarwa.

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