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Below are poems written by poet Cyprian Duruaku. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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WHAT IF

WHAT IF ?
WHAT IF I WASN'T BORN?
AND IF I WAS
WHAT IF I WAS NOT ME?

WHAT IF I WAS NELSON MANDELA?
WOULD I HAVE THE QUALITIES OF A LEADER?
AND WOULD I STAND BEHIND BAR?
TO STAND SO LONG FOR FREEDOM SAKE
BUT STILL AND STILL,I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS A YANKEE ON THE VIETNAM SPOIL?
WOULD I BE SHOOTING TI GET THEM DOWN?
OR WOULD I TAKE TO MY HEELS AND LEAVE THE GROUND?
NOT LISTENING TO THE DRUMS OF RIGHTS AND WRONG
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS DEDAN KIMATHI?
WOULD I LET THEM GET ME LATER?
OR WOULD I STAY AWAY LIKE JOMO KENYATTA?
BURNING COLD MAU MAU FIRE WITH NO PLUME
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS PRINCE TO A RUTHLESS KING?
WOULD MY HEART BE MADE OF STONE?
OR WOULD I BE TOO SOFT FOR THE RUTHLESS THRONE?
WITH ECHOES OF TREASON WHISPERING BEHIND THE TRUSTED CORRIDORS
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS DAVID DIOP?
WOULD I HAVE ENDED IT OVER THE ATLANTIC?
OR WOULD I HAVE LIVED ON AND MADE LIFE MORE DRAMATIC?
PUTTING A REVAMP TO A SONG OF SORROW
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS A PRIEST?
WOULD I ENDURE THE THOUGHT OF A GENERATION TO BE LOST?
OR WOULD I RATHER ERR AND LIVE A CURSE?
TO STAND ON A VALLEY BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF I WAS CHRISTOPHER OKIGBO?
WOULD I CHANT AND JOIN THE LIST?
OR WOULD I WATCH AND WRITE AT LEAST?
TO MATCH THE WORLD WITH LEAD AND INK
BUT STILL AND STILL I STAND MYSELF

WHAT IF YOU WERE NOT BORN?
AND IF YOU WERE
WHAT IF YOU WERE ME?

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