These streets are more pious than fresh converts.
Rows of mesmerised tin congregations sit in quiet rows
inside a holy house that is filled to capacity,
devotees pour out of entrances and exits
tired hands reach out for salvation
hopeful eyes gaze towards the light.
These streets eat prayer for breakfast (Pray she is safe!
These streets eat prayer for lunch ( Pray the drought away! )
These streets eat prayer for dinner (Pray for the crops’ yield this year!)
Hymns to heavenly hosts hide stomach growls,
while his children gluttonously devour faith.
Their stomachs welcome the company.
Devotees kneel on the eggshells of labyrinthine contracts,
strike breakers, broken helmets, sixty percent pay cuts,
power-wielding tender bosses,
and parliamentarian landlords.
His magnificence carries the corpses of their dreams,
and lessens the load of a hard life.
At the pulpit it is said that even Calvary can be survived,
at the cross, a prayer was made.
For Heaven there is a price to be paid
grace can transcend withering lips
suffering is holy.
To survive another day!
These streets are more pious than fresh converts
and the churches are full on national prayer days.
Ndaundika Shefeni is a Namibian student, writer, and activist.