The Habesha Girl

Poems 2011

Habesha Girl

The ancient civilization cascades deep
Beneath the shining skin of
The Habesha girl,
As she shuffles besides Awasa,
Rive Nile sputters from her heart
Not water but blood oozing out of her twinge.

Now on the streets of Addis Ababa,
She accosts to please all and,
The home to all Africans,
Treats her like Queen of Sheba,
But only for a few hours,
The Habesha girl,
Stands near the Chechnya square.

Blinking lights on the lake Tana,
Enjoins many to Lucy,
Our eternal ancestor,
The land was never colonized, they say,
But poverty, hunger and
Clamorous lure of the malls,
Have corralled many a souls.

Ask her not about the ancient past,
She tolls her time by hours not ages,
The sane world has whipped us asinine,
Those living or dead,
From the Habesha girl’s land,
See the glinting eyes, and
Body that glitters like gold.
But disdain her distress,
The pains of reaching out
To the heart of darkness.

Baharul Islam
12 July 2011

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The poem depicts the impact of poverty, materialist needs and subsequent corruption of the society, helplessness of a prostitute in the city. She belongs to a glorious past but her present job is painful and in the rush to catch the costly living culture of 'malls' she has apparently become numb to her pains.