Politicised Funerals by Stephen Derwent Partington.
Stephen Derwent Partington.
Pity our waheshimiwa,
haggling over corpses
like a parody, a farcical enactment
of great Brutus and Mark Antony.
Pity them, the pinstripe dogs
who chew upon the bodies of the dead.
It’s such a growling way
to offer your condolences
to family and friends.
Is it their pay that makes them rabid?
Come, let’s pity them.
For, see, they cannot grieve,
not for their allies nor their enemies.
In death, we all are meat:
come see our leaders
rip and spit and tear and eat.
The mourners see it, take a peek:
the bored-stiff chap inside the coffin’s
gone and voted with his feet.
Stephen Derwent Partington is a teacher and writer based near Machakos. He has previously published a poetry collection, SMS & Face to Face, in Kenya. His poetry and academic prose has appeared in various respectable publications, and he is at present a contributing member of the group, Concerned Kenyan Writers for Justice.