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Poetry

Red Is Not My Colour

by AHMED MAIWADA

I see many red lights saying, “Stop, don’t even move slowly”: Flashing red bombs and guns . . .

Mum said, “Red is your colour,” when she saw that I liked
The red shirt she bought me on my fifth birthday. I’ve liked,

Since then, The Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage,
Red maples, red apples, red chilli (in the heart of my porridge),

The Red Devils too – all red devils, including The Red Army
And their cousins the world over, whose heavy hands to me

Play red herring by the red flags waving as they go about their killings:
(Don’t forget our king, killing with old hands that spent shillings).

I’m in traffic on my way finishing my redgreenamber journey.
I see many red lights saying, “Stop, don’t even move slowly”:

Flashing red bombs and guns: big- and small-scale horror
Swelling red rivers around me. And I’m saying, “Red is not my colour!”

Ahmed Maiwada is a Nigerian poet and writer. He’s the author of the novel Musdoki (2010) and four poetry collections including his latest We’re fish (2017).

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