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East African Proverbs

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Let the relentless fist
be kissed.

The salt cannot be cooked;
the past is overlooked.

Full once they nibble,
fleas quibble.

Teeth in a hyena’s face
always slide into place.

No donkey can cart
what weighs down your heart.

Outside a man is respected;
at home that man is neglected.

The strangers weep and leave;
family members grieve.

Even half-blind men
hope to see again.

True words end;
lies extend.
 
Translated from the Oromo

Source: Poetry (July/August 2016)

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Poetry magazine

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East African Proverbs

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