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By Ijasan Adelehin from Nigeria
not, I swear
I would not touch this dish.
The first of its kind in my prison cell
The last they say Im going to see
The sight of it sends my neighbors clamoring
Like monkeys. Hands stretching vainly
Through our bars.
Salivating like Pavlovs dogs.
plate is filled with a delicacy
Pounded Yam with eguisi soup and large meat pieces
A delicacy indeed.
For the eight years Ive awaited trail
This plate has not seen more than
A meager dollop of stale soup.
But since its my last - they say.
I should be allowed a little luxury
And they wait, the wardens
Expectant of a hearty laugh
At an emaciated old fool gobbling
His last meal like a starved cur.
Perplexed at my ludicrous reaction
To the dish: Utter contempt.
I will touch their plate
Though I wish not.
I pick it up and hand it to my
And it vexed them, the wardens,
Their comic show denied.
With retrieved batons, they storm my cell
To deliver a sentence an hour earlier.
Pavlovs saliva dries in my throat.