The Struggle | a poem by Kayode Olla

– Photo Source: The Mzungu Dairies

—on the public status quo somewhere

They are the scab of a scarred skin
from Mr. Solar’s scalding abuse;
they are the scraped scalp that’ll
regrow full strength to fight
another day soon.

They are the undying souls of the fighting
laborers that died in the gasping struggle
to barely live on long-withheld doles of due bread
meant to keep sickly body and soul alive:

and they are the fighting spirit of those resting
pens’ners that the sword of his rationed dues
eventually cut off but… who still fights on.

They are the dirty brown smear of
bitter sweats on laborers’ reclining
brow, being fucking sundried in endless,
hopeless, helpless expectations of the
rightful reward:

heck, are they not the forced bittersweet,
sweaty labor rest only made to mouth from
hungry stomachs loud yawns of curses, and
curses, and curses for that master that ill-manages
their rightful dues and still mouths mocking
taunts at them before the ignorant world?!

They are the fighting spirit asking—
no, demanding:

“For what reason in the world must
we go on counting debts—

and deaths?!!


Kayode Taiwo Olla is a lecturer by daytime and a writer by dusk, with heart issues and mind themes being his muse’s fondest things. His books are a novel Sprouting Again and two poetry collections Softlie & Seven Loves, Seven Hates. His poems and short stories have appeared on litmags like Brittle Paper, Book Republic, Blankpaperz, SankofaMag and The Nifeminist. He keeps a personal blog at

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