By Cynthia Marangwanda
If the trees had voices
They would plead with us
Not to sacrifice our youth
For their ageing bark and rooted bite.
In response we would sit
Under the reassuring shade
Of their yet-untouched leaves
And gently explain that the fire they stoked
Was now reborn as an incendiary storm
Too fiery for even their wood to fuel.
Their branches would curl down at us in disbelief
Until they noticed the red fury in our waiting postures
About to blow up like lidded frustrations
Incapable of containing their own pressure.
Only then would green dewy tears descend from the heights
As if to anoint those of us below
As if to let us know
We cannot live buried under concrete
Cynthia Marangwanda is a Zimbabwean poet and spoken-word artist who identifies herself as a feminist and a creative activist. Her art is rooted in Harare’s vibrant urban culture scene. Her poetry is mainly concerned with themes of identity, emancipation, the deconstruction of oppressive structures, globalisation, individual power and transformation, all seen through the lens of a twenty-something modern-day African. She has recited her poetry all over Southern Africa and in Europe.