Stranger in Berlin

a poem by Onyeka Anyakora, Nigeria

Walking down the street, enjoying the view of the trees
Watching how they move as the wind gives a tender blow
It’s so soft, maybe I’m weird but I find them very calming
Like the world can shake you but it can never uproot you

My morning tranquillity is forever obstructed by those eyes
That stare saying I should feel like, I am less than what I think I am
Screaming I must come from nothing, like I am begging for something
Strangers but they judge me like very very old friends

They think I need help because thats what they have grown to believe
But they still smile bright and try hard to pretend that they don’t see you that way
The failure in their foolish acting is so annoying that it is disgusting
So I walk away and ignore because a fake friend is useless anywhere in the world

They never call you names and are as polite as a teacup
Because those stories are reserved for the moment you turn your back
They think you can’t hear the whispers, so you indulge them in their childish delusion
I think it’s the brain’s way of dealing with a depressing situation

I love art and poetry but when they see my work they believe it must be stolen
Like my mind could not possibly comprehend, writing deep moving words
Like my admiration of the power of paint is an act, at this point I pickup a mask
And I walk around laughing with people I hate and smiling with people I despise
Weirdly, then I stopped feeling alone because everyone was wearing the same mask

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