Coby Daniels Yeboah

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Living in a foreign land, out of sight of familiar straits

Playing hide and seek like a hit and run

In hidey holes breathing suffocating air

All because of a slip of paper made to look mightier than thou


Now tell me, are we also not men entitled to roam freely where we choose

Whether black, white, yellow or red,

For in my land I watch as they roam wherever they please

With nought to fear from the rules they flout


Yet in their land, it is a different game

Where going out is such a dangerous rout when you have no slip of paper

Bearing permission to live, signed by the hand of man


So in my talks with friends and family abroad

I ask them, why don’t you come back home?

And they say, I feel it, this time I’m so close

To being granted a green slip of paper

That guarantees me passage as I please

Some others say it guarantees opportunities

But to me it makes no sense

Why fight for opportunities where there is no welcome

While your fathers’ lands wait dutifully on your every want

Waits to give you the very best

Why dwell in a place with a heritage apart

That shies away from the ways of your kith and kin


Every day the queues grow and get out of control

Because suddenly everyone had a dream of lands

Accessed by means of a green slip of paper

Where money sprouts on trees and the tap drips milk every morning


In these queues, I hear them slang and slur their speech

Wannabe Americans and Londoners innit, you know,

Polishing off their repertoire of burgher mannerisms

Anticipating when they begin to live the American dream,

Which often just fizzles into cold nights in subway stations


I try to reason about living the Ghanaian pride

Across continent, there could be an African dream

So full of stars, you could be one

But sadly like a fever, this green card brouhaha

Engulfs the youth, Africa’s strength

And like the Ostrich with its head in sand

We dream lofty dreams, floating in a haze.


Coby Daniels Yeboah

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