In The Days Of Boko Haram/ A Message For An Abductee Poem by Sarah Mkhonza

In The Days Of Boko Haram/ A Message For An Abductee

Rating: 4.5

In the Days of Boko Haram
In the classroom,
What were girls?
Were they wives?
Were they shells?

When in school,
Were they free?
Were they in uniform?
Did they feel safe?

When men preyed on them,
Were they seeing and feeling?
Were they abductees?
Just because you and I saw them
The way we wanted to.
When speaking these truths
That need to be posted
In the minds of readers
Girl to girl I can say
Let us talk in loud whispers
That will never be heard
Even when we bang on doors
Trying to set ourselves free
From this new darkness of two words
That sound like a breaking log.

What Boko Haram takes away
You take back
Just by breathing
The fight goes on
Born in silence
You live to fight
And fight to live
Under the breath
Of a stifled self.

The power is yours
It will never be taken
From your stubborn fists
The love is not there
You twist and turn
When you face the wall
It sleeps when you sleep
It whispers louder than shouts
Of a soldier you do not like
Whose breath stifles you.

The one who abducts
Has no within in you
Your core is yours
Use it to fight
Block it with the thoughts
Boko Haram is an idea
Its twisted arm can be broken
In your mind and in your soul
For the thing called belief
Keeps us all fighting for you.

Tears fall at times
In the absence of parents
In the times of haters
Whose orders beat up
The very core of you

You survive one
You survive another
You look at the face
Of the one who inflicts pain
You know they are pain
For they can never give
What they do not have.

Hope sits in you
It walks on your feet.
Open your eyes and feel
See and walk in the dream
Life is a long dream
That all of us will be
Where we want to be
For we walk inside
Even when shackled by the form
That takes you to forests
Living your mother crying
For an Africa never to be safe.
Where schools are invaded
And people taken to death.

Think not of the past
And its days that ended freedom
Cast the gaze up into the realm
The light around you
Says yes, you will
Be the light that you
Were born to be.
Boko Haram no more!
It is a loud end
Are you able to see it?

The greatness in you
Sees all of it
Bring in thoughts of home
When you take a breath
Future of the nations.

People are looking for you
Gazing at the sunset
Seeing you coming home
On the empty horizons
Of forested paths

You run home in their minds
Eager to fall into their arms
Which are outstretched till eternity
For how can they not embrace the air
When they know one day it will carry you
To the familiar faces you left sad.

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: resilience
The abduction of the girls in a boarding school in Nigeria made me think of a way I would encourage them to continue hoping. I felt helpless parents who live with hope encouraging me to give a space to people to write about this event.
Phile Shongwe 01 August 2016

This is very encouraging and I hope every person who has had this experience can read this to start the healing process.

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