Eighty. Eight.

Balloons and cake and

gunshots and inflation. 

Boys and girls dressed bright

in propaganda colours!

Clap your hands, clap your hands

for the democracy they grew

from the ruins of 1960s hopes,

and the broken backs of these generations.

A ruined country, and scattered peoples,

and a passive Africa sitting back and sipping tea

- watching, watching, A-En-Cee cheering on - 

but listen to the hordes of people,

hear how they sing, a dirge, a capitulation:

“Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday.”