Shadow People

Shadow People

by Foday Mannah

Poverty and Pain are allergic to Pride
So we are janus-faced agama lizards
With gleaming shaved pates that foolishly nod
No identity; happily in the shadow of others
Allegiance bartered for succulent morsels

Our colour and inner glow remain doused
Dimmed, dulled, dirtied, demeaned, denigrated
Like malnourished children, we cling to teats
Slurping whatever is provided, choice a luxury
Silhouetted statues, our images blurred and blotted.

Our remit is simple: to be seen and not heard
Capable of queuing in the sun and ballot papers
Adept at following. Frenzied, frothy frolicking
Smiles tattooed to our faces, hands outstretched
Like mute shadows we faithfully follow.