A poem by Fiskani Nkhoma
Who is the greater thief?
He that robs a little boy’s shoe,
Or slaughters a rescuing dream
Who is the greater oppressor?
He that snatches a woman’s
Handbag and disappears into coughs and laughter
Or the lover that defiles her dignity
And tramps dirt beneath his feet on her heart
Who is the greatest foe?
He that slays a man’s cow
Or steals his wife’s lust
and leaves his ego battered and bruised
Who is the greatest antagonist?
He who rots in water
Or keeps it and sells it
What’s the lesser evil?
To cause a man misfortune
or exploit his misfortune
Who is inhumane?
Young lovers that through immoral passion plant a seed and uproot it
Or two men sweating on each other’s shoulders
As they become one
Who is the coward?
A father that abandons his family
Or the boy that denies a pregnancy
If humanity were to be brought to a halt
And you had to choose
Which side would you be on?
Fiskani Nkhoma is a Malawian writer of poetry. “I sometimes get the feeling that I am what’s left of what was a great poet in a life before, just that part of him that was uninspired and unmotivated. So I set out in search of that part of his soul that was full of life and rhythm. Maybe if I find it, I will become poetry”.