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When I talked in smiles,
With nothing to hide.
Sharing heart with strangers
In basic conversation.

Before age stole my innocence;
Before lust corrupted me.
Before I withheld some details,
Guarding my heart jealously.

When I saw my mama cry;
When she showed it to me.
Preparing me for a more cruel world,
The one that upholds its legacy.

Before I decided against having kids,
Before painful existence persuaded me.
Before Jesus showed me the other cheek;
Before I learnt to slap it.

When my girl got HIV and
She came crawling back to me.
Begged me to give her a child.
That was before I could vote.

Before my suns turned into black holes;
Swallowing up all the good in me.
Before Seventh Grade;
Before I forgot how to cry.

Before my life lost its color.
Before…
Before…
Before I exorcised my initial self.

©Herbert Uba 2017

Herbert Chakurangeyi

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