where I come from,
thieves don’t steal only at night
they don’t wear masks
they don’t carry weapons
they don’t come in the form you would expect.

where I come from,
thieves don’t steal properties.
they steal thrones and crown themselves kings
steal voices and dare the people to speak
steal wings and ask the people to fly
steal smiles and tell the people not to cry
but most of all, they steal colours.

our land -like the rainbow- was once colourful,
we loved to watch the rainbow dance across the sky after a downpour
drawing hope from its gleam
as we basked in its beauty,

our land was beautiful…
until the thieves snatched her colours and began to taint it
jacked her beauty and began to repaint it.
our land they painted blue
gloom, in every corner we looked.

then the streams of red began to flow in,
our own blood we were forced to row in
oaring into the trap of darkness they had set.
our eyes, though plugged to their sockets, our visions had been disconnected
Our land had turned black now.

thieves as they were
snatched souls and shattered dreams
broke bones and made feasts
and then called us colour-blind because they felt peachy and we couldn’t see it.

where I come from,
we don’t call thieves thieves
we call thieves your excellencies.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.