by Obiwu Iwanyanwu
They came for the Igbo, and you laughed.
They came for the Ogoni; you rolled your eyes like an owl.
They rounded up Odi, and rolled over Zaki-Biam.
You brushed off your shoulder, like you were twins with God.
You laughed at things that burned as wood:
Your neighbor’s land was gas that burned as wood
Another man’s house was wood that warmed your hearth.
The house of God; the body of man or woman
The other is a thing, a piece of wood that burns.
Christ dragged up the wood, hung high to dry
Like wood; strained ribs pierced with wood.
You bared your teeth and laughed at God, your twin.
They came for the gays, and you fell to the floor
You rocked and swayed and laughed with joy.
The other is wood for laughs, until it falls at your door.
After Pastor Martin Niemöller’s “First They Came …” (January 6, 1946). On the anniversary of the January 15, 1966, first military coup d’etat and other evils that have caused the death of the human in Nigeria today.
Obiwu is the author of three books