Author note: The poem presented here is from Emmanuel Toh Bi Tié’s recent collection, Parulies rebelles (Éditions L’Harmattan, 2007; As boils in the mouth, so rebels in our towns), in which he addresses the burden of rebel forces settling into towns during the First Ivorian Civil War (2002–2007).
Author note:A fragment of the long poem Zakwatois published here. In the poem, Zakwato is trusted to be on watch for his village but falls asleep. He wakes to find his village decimated. Bereft, Zakwato travels toward a distant smith to have his eyelids removed. Like this, he will be forever vigilant of foreign invaders.