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Opinions of Sunday, 17 January 2010

Columnist: Mepeasem, Kwame

POEM: Does the president have a spine?

I was just walking around the castle
In my hunting gear
Looking for that annoying bush rat I’d been chasing since dawn
I was getting tired and angry
I wanted to get back home, but I needed the rat
The Christmas had been dry, the new year, depressing
I heard the wind whistle
Saw the dust rise,
Felt a chill in my bones, moving ever so slowly down my spine
Got confused
Was about to abandon the chase
Until I heard the noise
Sound of people settling down
Moving chairs
Microphones been checked
Curiosity drew me
Closer to the source
Source of the sounds
The birds in the air were equally agitated, chirping excitedly
My mood lifted, I was not alone in this agitation
The closer I got the more I felt my heart beat
Faster than the bush rat could elicit
Then I saw the crowd
Of people in suits
Then I saw the president!
Splendid in his outfit
Then I remembered, this was the 7th of Jan. 2010
The president is meeting the media
I crouched, closer to the ground
The ground and myself almost as one and at peace
The questions started
The president got some right
I smiled, that’s my man
Then the questions got tougher
The ministers’ asset declaration
The president deferred to his ministers
At that point he slumped a bit
I got worried
Why could he not stand properly?
I edged closer
Crawling on my belly, slowly
Almost like the ants around me, noiseless
Muntaka reared his head
The president slumped further
At that point, more than ever
I wanted to get close, to satisfy myself that my president was ok
Then he answered, at that point
The dust settled
The silence resonating, deafening
Eerie indeed
The chirping stopped
There was a standstill
I realized there was no need
For me to inch any further
I had my answer
Sadly, it dawned on me
Like lightning bolt
Like a forceful awakening
That the President had no spine

Kwame Mepeasem