(1965 / Abor, Volta Region, Ghana)

Ghost Of King Leopold

they came like a whirlwind from the hillside
rushed into the mud houses and walked over
the corn fields with showers of hailstorm
we heard the startling sound with opened hearts
then all at once the air around us was stilled

where once baobab trees towered high
and mangroves tall and green danced
where once was the hollies and God’s home
the groves and grotto were never seen again
the spacious altar was littered with withered leaves

the elders sing it in songs when hailstorms dropp
and withered leaves hop on village lanes
they remember those days where everywhere
they lost the nose for a breath of air
even beneath the shade of God’s home

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