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“I do not wish to carry so much burden” © 2022 by Maria Carvalho

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They say God seeks friendship within a veiled temple,
but I am an open vessel hungry for miracles,
the type a woman, my neighbour, sought
the day she walked barefoot to her God.
As I write this poem, I am imagining how God
would feel to see her loaded with anxieties on her back.
Like this woman, I am carrying the world on my back.
I tightened my country so well it won’t fall.
Midway, my back aches, not for the weight of the world
but that which lies in my heart. I think of homeless boys.
I think of the bleeding hamlet. I think of you.
I think of tomorrow, if it ever comes.
I think of us, if we can ever stay alive to witness tomorrow.

Chukwuma-Eke Pacella, NGP Xv, is a seventeen-year-old Nigerian poet. She is the winner of the Cradle Poetry contest and The Feast of Words On-the-Spot poetry contest (2022), a two-time BKPW finalist, and Hiasfest's most valuable female contestant (2022). Her manuscript “Love In Its Bliss And Sins” emerged second place for the Nigerian Prize for Teen Authors Award. Some of her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Eunoia Magazine, brittle paper, the International Human Rights Arts Festival, Last Leaves, Kalahari Review, Rigorous, and elsewhere. She is proudly a member of the Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation and tweets @dancing_poet and @hcaf_abuja.
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