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English Department The Liberian Literature Project

Things I Know

It's bad to have many persons
too many persons
too happy too long
there must be something
that rubs them the wrong way
thousands of rubs
another thousands of itches and bites
it's untrue to have them smile
say I'm fine because you know
they are not
I've known many persons
too many persons who say
"I'm fine. I am all right."
then go home to lie awake on empty bellies
listening to their children
scream and cry for food
I've known persons
too many persons
who spend their days in want
their nights in tears
longing for relief to come
hoping the new day will come
wishing that it not come
I have known many mothers
too many mothers
who sent their young boys
to slave for cruel men
men who kicked them
men who stepped on them
for crumbs of bread
for grains of rice
but one day
one of these long days
these mothers will not have to
those cruel men who ride those big, long cars
will disappear from their high pedestals
their big, long cars will disappear with them
their false pride
their false sense of being
will disappear with them
the people will claim
that which is rightfully theirs
the people will be free to enjoy
life, to live their lives simply
their daughters will not have to suffer
the indignities of being abused by these sinister creatures
creatures who call themselves 'civilised men'
riding big, long, black cars
the days of the big, long, black cars will be over
over forever


Khasu, Kona. “Things I Know.” The Seeds of Time: A Collection of Poems. Mimeographed typescript. Monrovia, 1971. 42–43.

Editorial Changes

Line Typescript Changed to
13 [after "all": double space] [after "all": single space]

Weiterführende Informationen

The Liberian Literature Project

Project Editor: Martin Mühlheim

UZH English Department, Plattenstrasse 47, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland

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