Land of Burnt Faces

Tsega Demissie (3rd place. Poetry. Spring 2012 Writing Contest)
Her skin, ebony earth crafted in utter devotion, nurtured in the Nile.
With gracious hands she harvests bold Harrar, a rich smoky elixir many desire, sustained by the Nile.
Aksum, a kingdom confining a most holy covenant, resting along an eastern bank,
declaring its granite majesty upon a queen’s arrival, the Nile.
Before era, her nostalgic garden bore the fruit of knowledge, which Eve gave to Adam.
So Abba, who sought revival, sent flood that took life, yet bestowed the Nile.
Her crown, a very horn of fiery peaks, paints the soil blood red;
her eyes acknowledge wounds from times of yore, impart deprival; so she washed in the Nile.
Droughts callus her sole as covetous kings inflict steel upon her back.
While most kin submit, white pennant in palm, her lion-heart overflows the Nile.
Her name, Abyssinia, forbearer of bronzed warriors dressed in golden silks, perfumed in wild aromas,
for God bestowed her Tsega*; he sought her survival and that of her heirs, so he gave her the Nile.
*Tsega- Grace


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