I’m trying to lose this accent
trying to blend into my surroundings
like insignificant wallpaper
I’m trying to smile
when you laugh at my mistakes.
Trying to be a good sport.
I’m trying to appreciate John Keats
and William Butler Yeats
I’m trying to put up a jolly good show
I’m trying to sit in this blood-red bus
and act as if I know this city
and I’m trying to look inconspicuous.
I’m trying to be dismayed
when you catch a corrupt official
Trying to forget he’d be a lord in my land
Trying not to think of those I left behind
Trying to forget
how I almost didn’t make it out.
I’m trying to be you,
curse this clumsy tongue.
(c) Wole Oguntokun