Where I’m from, they call us

-The smiling coast of Africa

A land that breathes joy even when in pain


Do you see us closer?

There are so many cracks

Behind the smiles of the smiling coast 


So much hidden

Behind our loveliness that radiates like sunshine 

The dawning of single hearts fishing by the shore

With too many mouths waiting at home to be fed 


There’s so much innocence 

Behind the fabrics that bind us together 

The national anthem soaks in our tears

You see, I am the smiling coast too

Warmly breathed, drumming for change


The children’s smile, so pure and true

The adults’ smile, so soiled yet hopeful 

Living life very solemnly, from hand to mouth


It troubles me to know what a smile can hide

Too much grief 

Too much poverty

Too much longing 

Too many stains on the inside


But we smile

As if the future hands us a promise

As if life is made of sunshine and rainbows.