You will never live life here

I am from a country where living is a community service,
And the dead are never quite at rest.
See! You will never live life here;
Not in the manner you crave.
No! Not even close by any stretch of the imagination.
The men pour frustration at the bar.
The women cook rebellion in the kitchen,
And the children – they dream of Santa and snow.
But the world here is different from the ones in fairy-tales.
The weather here is both rainy and hot.
And when grey hairs show, and the staff is stirred,
You will look back to see the stranger you have now become.
For you have never lived life here,
Not a day as yourself, but as a blind man led by others.
First you were born into a world of Tradition,
Then baptized with waters of Religion,
Your tribe became your true identity,
And your nationality – a foreign conspiracy.
You must go to church on Sunday.
You must go to mosque on Friday.
You must not question your elders,
You must not question God, and his minions.
You must attend nursery school.
You must attend primary school.
You ought to have a WAEC certificate
And a University degree if you’re lucky.
It doesn’t matter what you want to be
A doctor or a lawyer will do just fine.
You should be married by 30 if you are a Lady.
You should be married all the same if you are a man.
You must have babies, if you can.
You must adopt babies, if you can’t.
And when you are trapped in that marriage;
Chained by the rules of society,
And you look your first child in the eye,
Carry it in your arms, and hear it cry,
You may not know it yet;
But that’s the dying cry of your free self.
For you have only existed, you are yet to live.
And now you will never live life here.