Saudatu Kabir

Smiling Baby In A Crib - Poem by Saudatu Kabir

Among my people I was a living demon
My face a mask of horror
My fists strong as iron
My eyes red like fire
My heart cold as stone

I trust the night and its darkness
And every bit of silence
For then my secrets were sheltered
Secured and safely hidden
From the probing eyes of the law

For being a walking terror
I live alone in silence
I acquire plenty which I offer to the street girls
Though they need a man of service
My sight often terrifies them

You see! I could not court and marry
For every family dreads me
Their girls they warned against me
Thus all happy marriages I envy
And I strive to make a misery

My people provoked me
Treated me like an outcast
So I derived pleasure in depriving them
Of their most treasured possessions
But I derived more pleasure in killing
Destroying happy homes

Murder became my profession
I wrench out souls without a pint of pity
But a smiling baby in crib
Sent me raving with madness to my grave
This is the story of my life

At school I was a bully
The teachers thus expelled me
For parents were withdrawing their children
For fear of what I might do to them

Still young I lost my parents
Went to sea and never came back
I blamed everyone for my misfortune
And felt they had to pay for it

My neighbor took me out of kindness
But his wife was like a leopard
She nearly tore my flesh apart
So I ran and was never seen again

I became a beggar begging
But people threw stones at me
Saying I was responsible
For my parents death at sea
So I left my town for another

I cursed the world and its people
They all had not been kind to me
And I felt they had to pay dearly
With their very lives for it
I shall lick their blood and bones

That was when love deserted my heart
And hatred took its place
The soft spot in it erupted
It became ablaze with the fire of vengeance
Like a snake spitting venom
On every soul it comes upon
All dread my sight

When I started killing
My evil hands were always eager
My wicked eyes couldn’t wait
My cold heart derived pleasure
Whenever my victim’s blood
Smeared my sharp blade

And then after the killing
I regale on burukutu
Finishing one guard after another
Until my tummy swells up
I give a shout of triumph
Then I sink in bed and snore away

I became a dreadful tiger
My claws were always sharpened
To tear the flesh of my helpless victims
And let them bleed to death

My heart felt neither pity nor remorse
It seemed to cease working towards good but towards evil
But the sight of a smiling baby in a crib set it awake with fire
And it started to bleed

I climbed the fence skillfully
Even I could not hear my foot steps
A skill born out of long practice
I picked the lock with skill
I walked in through the door

I found the parents first
Asleep and quietly snoring
I gave a wicked laugh
I’m going to wrench your breadth away
I addressed the sleeping couple
I slew both like a ram feeling like I’ve done nothing

On my way out I saw the baby in its crib
It cocked its head to one side
And gave me a wonderful smile
I snatched it raging with anger
Smashing its head to pieces

That night I celebrated another victory
I slept soundly like a lamb all through the night
But from then I never slept again

For when I got my breakfast
In the late hours of dawn
I found myself shrieking
Sweat covered me all over
The baby’s face was on my plate

I saw it in the bathroom
When I glanced at the mirror
I saw it on the wall
I saw it on my pillow
It was everywhere around the house

I paced my room up and down
Sweating and shaking all over
When I paused to take a breath
The smiling baby was staring at me

I ran outside in a frenzy of despair
Soon a large crowd gathered around me
I was shouting like a mad man
The crowd refused to leave me
So I ran into the bush
To control my tattered self alone
That was when my heart melted
And I wept like a child
For the smiling baby in a crib

My heart that knew no pity
Wept for all those I made to suffer
My once strong hands were shaking
My legs wiggling like jelly

I waited impatiently for the night
Then I could hide in its darkness
But the night was worse than the day I feared
For even the stars in the sky
Seemed to mock at me

For days I ransacked the bush like a wild animal
I became a raving lunatic
I could not hold myself together
For everywhere I went
The smiling baby followed me

That was when I remembered God
Whom I hardly believed existed
But then I knew He’s the only One
That could help me out

I raised my hands to pray to God
But my lips could not utter a word
With bitter contempt I realized
The Lord was executing His judgment on me
How could He then answer my prayer
A being like me with no pint of goodness in my heart

So I surrendered myself to faith
That was how I was destined to pay
For all my evil doings
All those people’s lives I’ve made a misery
Left me for God to deal with me in His own way

I went on ahead to surrender myself
To the police guns and their piercing bullets
To the law I’ve always kept away from
People welcomed me with a shower of stones
I reached the police with a bleeding head

Have mercy I wept at the judge’s feet
And kill me for I don’t deserve to live
For my deeds I deserve severe torture
More than death

After my confession I was kept locked up
For three whole days
Awaiting death in my gloomy cell
My heart kept beating wildly
A killer like me afraid of death

I’m writing this story for the whole world to know
Others like me should learn from my mistakes
And change their ways
Or their lives will rot like decaying bodies in the grave
I regretted every deed I did
All for the sake of a smiling baby in crib

Finally my dooms day has arrived
I’ll dropp my pen and my little note book
I’ll follow the executioner to the place of doom
The end will certainly be a painful death.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 17, 2009

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