Walk of shame

Walk of shame

Its assembly time again

and my heart is filled with trepidation

my heart thumps against my chest

my palms are sweaty

so I wipe them across my torn vest.

Tears wet my eyes

as the national anthem begins

not because I love my country so dearly –

a nation that refuses to pay its state workers

for which my mom & dad are part of

the former a teacher

the latter a civil servant

but because of what comes next.

In a deep booming baritone voice

the principal begins to call out the names

of pupils whose parents haven’t paid the school fees

my head slumps on my shoulders

pressed down by the weight of shame.

I hear my name called out

and wait in shameful silence

till all the names are read

and without looking up

or saying good-bye to my friends.

I begin my walk of shame

with eyes downcast

hot tears in my eyes

dragging my dusty sandals along

my hands trembling as I clutch my tattered bag.

I silently take the same foot-path

I took to school this morning

that was once filled with chatter

but is now enveloped by the silent shame I carry within.



18 thoughts on “Walk of shame” by afro-prince (@olayinka)

  1. @afro-prince, well done…nice build up and delivery…i love the contrast in the last two lines….KUDOS!

    1. @ xikay am glad you enjoyed it and were able to note the contrast in the last two lines. :)

  2. I ditto Xikay (I seem to be doing a lot of that. Laziness.). Good poem, clear message.

    1. lol..your comment about agreeing with Xiay makes me laugh.I am glad you enjoyed it & picked up the message.

  3. A strong message here…

    1. You are correct Idoko. The message is that the government needs to cater to the needs of the masses/its citizens and education should be a must for every child in Africa, with no barriers hindering their acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge is power.

  4. Good poem Afro Prince. I did notice this however, how could he have rubbed his wet palm on his ‘torn vest’, wasn’t he puting on a uniform?
    Details. Details.. Details…

    1. @Scopeman am glad you enjoyed it. I must say you have good observational skills. He wasn’t putting on a uniform & the ‘torn vest’ symbolizes poverty/his poor background as he couldn’t afford a clean t-shirt.

  5. I felt for the boy, and it doesn’t help that so many young children in Nigeria find themselves in the same quandry in Nigeria everyday. Hmmm..

    1. I agree with you Myne. Its a big shame that some children in Nigeria and Africa do not have access to education due to poverty. We all need to wake up and challenge this.

  6. Got the message and this is such a lovely piece. Ditto @xikay on the last line. In a film, you could jump from the assembly ground to when they were chattering to school which then fades to him being silent, lonely and crying again. Good work man.

    1. I am glad you caught the message & thanks for the compliment mate. I love the cinematic insight you gave. Have you considered becoming a movie director? :)

  7. Awwww….rili touching*sniff*sniff*… nd I must say dat I love d last lines of d poem…..thumbs up Prince!

    1. Am glad you enjoyed it.Thanks for the kind words. Your comment is funny, made me smile. :)

  8. I love the last lines of the poem as well…
    I noticed you said his head ‘slumped on his shoulders?’
    I’m not sure if that is quite right…’his head slumped on his chest’ would be a better picture don’t you think? shame is an emotion that makes one bow his head downward and not sideways as that line tends to portrays…

    I used to watch this happen during assembly periods in secondary school and it would tug at my heart strings to see intelligent people get booted out of school because of the fees…first time it happened to me sha i was just glad to get some free time away from school! lol

    1. @ estrella thanks for spotting that error on my part with your eagle eye lol. Thanks for sharing your experience. I found it very funny that you were happy because you had free time- its amazing how we think when we young lol. It happened to me too when I was in boarding school(i was in J.S.S 3 I think) & I was ashamed that my name got called out in front of everyone.

  9. a thought provoking,well written poem i must say.Love the last two lines too.well done Afro-prince.

    1. Thanks a lot posh for your words of encouragement & praise. :)

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