Why did you do it? Why did you deny him?
You said you knew him not, yet he sprung out of you
You said he was a stranger, although he bore your mark
You even called him alien, while he still bore your name
You turned away from him, though he clung to you still
And through your wicked elders, you sent him to his grave
Oh you ancient city of martyrs, why did you do it?
Why did you do it? Why did you put him away?
Together you sat in council, deciding on his fate
You hired false witnesses, to confirm him a sinner
And brought forth false evidence, indicting him the more
You shut your eyes and ears, while they dragged him away
To have his blood splattered, down by the sacred river
Why, oh tell me, why did you do it?
Why did you do it? Why did you wash it away?
You watched in silent horror, as they dragged him towards you
And tied him to the great taproots, that extend into you
They spilled his blood by you, the blood of the blameless
You washed it all away, taking with you his memories
Yet you moved on in silence, as if nothing had happened
Tell me, oh you sacred river, why did you do it?
Toyin Taiwo © 2012