I’m the rough voiced civil servant
Collecting my wages on the street
The public utility Landlord
Keeping the peace and collecting rent
I’m the government of roughnecks
Enforcing law and order underneath the grassroots
I’m an eccentric citizen, so what?
Make no mistake, I know my rights!
In my doped frenzy, I may have the semblance of a rogue
With nostrils flared, blowing fumes of hemp
And a ready fist in place of a civil tongue
But these are needful paraphernalia for the trade
So I may restrain more harmful criminals under skin
I’m all for the public good, you see?
My kind of enforcement is just in a rather odd way.
In-between my frenzied spells
I’m a citizen as regular as they come;
I was raised in one of our typically troubled homes
Right here in the neighborhood
I attended one of our poor public schools
And waited with my peers for jobs that were just not there
Till I had my second child out of wedlock
And had to create this livelihood out of none existent
You see me? I’m as typical as they come
And you all are hardly better than I am!
Yet you make of me no more than a thug or tout
Defacing the city, a dirty lout;
You seek to rid the city of my red eyes
And would rather have a new face of Lagos,
Where children play safely in plush public parks
And lovers lounge leisurely under electric founts.
Your good riddance to my bad nuisance, I guess you wish
So you plan to get me off the streets.
Yet I doubt they are enough laws to put me in jail
Or enough jails even when you find cause.
Whereto would you drive me? I wonder now
Perhaps into hiding in the shadows then!
Making you always watch your back
Creeping underneath your doors
Making you lose your sleep
Aha! You feel threatened already?
Well, so do I!
Though bloodshot; red, I’m a part of Lagos after all.
Just double checking that you really have a wholesome plan.
I remain your ever more attendant Area Boy!
© 2010, Tee Akindele (http://poetry.tee-akindele.com)