“Coup d’etat”

“Coup d’etat”

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Family around the dinner table

Dad as he talks to his friend adjacent

“Can you believe it?” “Coup d’etat!”

Said with such excitement

I was wild eyed for their blood thirstiness

Popular among African tribes

In the back of my head I thought

“hot potato”

Someone else without a plan or a skill

Wants to live in the mansion

Drive around the fleet of Mercedes Sedan

Put on the fez

And have all the money

“Hot potato style”

The people they may starve

Or go without electricity

Or air conditioning

Or even worse roads

Or stores

Or even still worse


That African blood thirstiness

When a dictator has ruled them


With suffering

When needs were not met

When nations succumbed to epidemics

That blood thirstiness

When they wish to use their last breath

 To overthrow them

“Coup d’etat”

When sometimes the dictator

Will form an opposing group

And overthrow himself

That blood thirstiness

That desperation

The dream of revolution

Then in America

The Expats

Around the dinner table

Said with vigor, passion and revulsion

“Coup d’etat!”

Which lives at the back of the head

Of the children

As they grow up

Not to be the leader

Without a plan

With no bird in the hand

With nothing to offer the people

The next generation grows

Upon this thought

The revolution

It turns out

Is the “spread”

Is the hospitals

Is the schools

Is the restaurants

Is the non-profits

Is the social system

Is the tourism

Is the transportation system

Is the health of the people

Is their prosperity

Is the roads

Is the government

Is the businesses

Is the financial system

Is the nature

Is the knowledge

Is a written language

Is the opportunities

The next generation

Who listened as a child

Around the dinner table

“Coup d’etat”

Prepared their hand

Without knowing it

“Coup d’etat” was a thought

Living and growing

At the back of their heads

Enough and

Enough to give

Not a cinderblock house

But a proper neighborhood

Or community

Not a plastic sheet hospital

But a sterile one

That it will take so much intelligence

For us to survive at all

That we need cooperation

To make it

That we need manufacturing

To make it

That we need security

to make it

Sometimes you put a good one there

And all that bullshit dies

Sometimes you don’t change the old

You build the new

We are always within the “set”

Of our lives

So clearly, even architecturally

We may be oppressed

Freedom may not be what it

Appears to be

The revolution

May look different to the next generation

Then again

You may see those ghettos

As a necessity

Not as oppressive

But as a component of diversity

Economic diversity

And changing wealth

“Coup d’etat”

It turns out

Is the “spread”

You have to secure, block,

Fight, and spread

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