By Tikum Mbah Azonga
(For Ni Philip Asongwed in Douala)
Yes, I accepted it as a joke, only a joke
But she took it seriously
The lines on her angelic face said it all
The shop windows were closed, shut tight
Doors were ajar, regardless of the killer ants
Up on the iron roof, the Queen Bee
Too busy counting her pieces of gold and silver
Took no notice of the duel below.
I accepted because the Fon’s men meant to stroke
The horse’s back and recover the cowries sold wrongly
Never before had anyone dreamed Mokom in his fall
Would go down fighting because he knew he was right.
I knew too late they lied the book was Kant’s.
So, unwillingly but only as a joke I accepted to be
At the palace gate instead of the bank of the river
At least, I knew our Lord could never stoop so low.