by Akin Jeje, finalist of the Peel Street Poetry Slam Contest 2016
Reach high for the sky.
Reach so high that fingers part in trembling fear,
Kneeling on the cold tarmac, waiting for the heavy steps,
Hammers clicking as they cock,
Strides quickening as they walk,
Bellowing out demands,
Knees ache as loose gravel presses hard into you as those silver cuffs soon will,
Cutting the circulation of prize prey, a cause for celebration.
To glance at least a flash of a badge,
Or a mark on a hand,
Hoping you’ll make it at least to remand,
‘Cause if you flinch or even twitch,
The last you’ll feel is the force of those blasts.
It’ll be in the news, but it won’t last.
They’ll escape the long arm of their own law.
They'll say you reached.
Canadian poet Akin Jeje lives in Hong Kong. His works have been published and featured in Canada and Hong Kong. His poetry collection Smoked Pearl
was a semi-finalist for the 2009 International Proverse Prize, and published by Proverse Hong Kong in 2010. Jeje's most recent publication was in issue 53 of New York's Linden Avenue Literary Journal
in October 2016. He is a regular performer at Hong Kong's Poetry Outloud and previously the MC for Peel Street Poetry. He is also an advisor to the Hong Kong International Young Readers' Festival.