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Three Poems on Nigeria

Robert L. Doty

Ekiti Sun

Underfoot, the carcass of the scorpion,
Overhead, the bougainvillea and the cashew tree
Below, the hill and quiet town
Resting in the midday Ekiti sun,
Invites the strangers in.

Northward is the Jos Plateau
Where grim violence replicates the oldest one.

Nigeria, oh.

The Clinic

The father leans over one bare bed
Watching his baby girl,
Wearing only hoses in her arm.
Nurses stand nearby,
Sympathetic, but with little else
To guide her through to health

The nearly empty clinic
Wide open doors
Reinforce the news that many are sick,
Few can come, fewer can pay.
Nurses go unrewarded save with memory.

Flashes of Color

The canvas is tan.
The dust lingers in the air
In the dry season.
The world is splashed with color
Red hot poker, red hot peppers,
Red headed lizards, umbrellas,
Bananas, school uniforms, orange
Blossoms, blue-winged chickens,
The world‘s brightest clothes.
The eye and spirit are raised up.