Memories, Hopes and Dreams

I should have written this long ago
When the red dust of Abakaliki
Blown by the hot humid air
Settled on my tender, innocent face
And coloured my eyelashes brown
When the hot, unforgiving sun
Beat down on me without mercy
And adjusted my complexion
From a brightly coloured version
To a darker shade of fair
And oft times the heavy rains
Weighed down in quick retaliation
And soaked me up to the calves
In yellow muddied waters
As though I were a battleground
On which the elements contend
Yes, I should have written this back then

When the days never seemed to end
And the nights quickly passed you by
You could never tell what happened
If things were fast or they were slow
There were only blurred memories
Of rural life and township style
Traders’ shops, Meat markets
Building sites, Local restaurants
Public schools, Government offices
The ministries of this and of that
Wealth and affluence that was
Sparsely spread among deep poverty
Then there were flurried imaginations
Of a better life somewhere out there
Dreams of posh cars, the good life
Healthier people, better education and
A hopeful life for every young person

Somehow the seasons had to change
And bring difference to this place
Or take us away to a different place
We had passion and commitment
And many dreams and visions, of which
Some survived and others died
There were troublemakers, smiling faces
And a hope that things were at an end
All those things did come to an end
But now we bear like a stamp
In our hearts and our minds
The memories of those times
And the effects of our experiences
Unyielding to the endless tug of time
Remain a mark on our souls and
Testify to a place and a time
That once was and will always be