“Before” — A Poem by Alabi Ayodele

Before I evolve to a plant with
numerous branches so vast,
A resting point for the weak;
An abode for the birds.
Before I dig my roots into the ground so fast,
And give grains for the chickens and pastures for herds.

Before I come to be a mighty ocean swaying from South to North,
Slicing the border of the East and West,
A habitat for the turtles and fishes.
Before I sail your ships to the far-forth,
And allot oceanic nourishment on your dishes.

Before I become a wildfire with a blazing tongue,
A slave under your heavy crocks;
A striking sprinter with a speed of light.
Before the cedar trees whistle my lyrics unsung,
And all the logs warm your dwelling in contrition.

I was once a little seedling,
Scattered by the birds;
Sprinkled by the strong.

I was once a drip of liquid,
Gathered by the drainages.
River by river, I come to be a mighty sea.

I was once a spark between two stones,
Founded by your hands;
Set to the air with total freedom.

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