The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowel
Read the poem “The Dining Table” by Gbanabom Hallowel
Dinner tonight comes with gun wounds. Our desert tongues lick the vegetable blood—the pepper strong enough to push scorpions up our heads. Guests look into the oceans of bowls as vegetables die on their tongues.
The table that gathers us is an island where guerillas walk the land while crocodiles surf. Children from Alphabeta with empty palms dine with us; switchblades in their eyes, silence in their voices. When the playground is emptied of children`s toys who needs roadblocks? When the hour to drink from the cup of life ticks, cholera breaks its spell on cracked lips
Under the spilt milk of the moon, I promise to be a revolutionary, but my Nile, even without tributaries comes lazy upon its own Nile. On this night reserved for lovers of fire, I’m full with the catch of gun wounds, and my boots have suddenly become too reluctant to walk me.
Analysis of The Dining Table
The Dining Table is chiefly influenced by his experiences during the eleven-year Sierra Leonean war when guerrillas (an irregular armed force that fights stronger regular forces such as the army or police) started a movement against the nation’s corrupt government. Though the war was between the government and the guerrillas, it affected the civilian population in no small measure. At the centre of the conflict is the control of Sierra Leonean diamonds.