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A country is born

There will be a new flag on the horizon tomorrow,
hoisting millions of strange new hopes,
new borders, stamps, coins, passports,
military badges, medals and other trinkets of state,
a source of effervescent, ephemeral pride,
cries of refreshing Uhuru.

Then reality - diplomatic gaffes,
little wars, treaties, negotiations.
The big countries' unwelcome patronisation.
All sorts of experts trooping in
to give advice overtly,
and a few covert threats.

Feed the poor, vaccinate babies,
build roads, kill mosquitoes,
placate rich taxpayers,
bury assassinated leaders,
balance budgets, sell oil, coal, minerals,
arrest some, release some,
educate children, find them jobs,
a thousand things to do.
No time for cutting cake.

Life will stagger on.
The flag, forgotten, will still fly
proudly upon the horizon.

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