The light of my life,
And the glint in my eye,
She is the sun who’s rays are undying.
The stars are a stretch,
When her sparks start to shine,
She is a diamond who cannot be cracked.
If the moon is a pearl
Then her face beams a thousand
My baby, my girl, the child that I carried.
Joy came through marriage,
And contentment ensued,
Till for 9 months a soul- emerged in my womb.
The glint in my eye,
My moon during dark,
My baby my girl, the joy that I carried.
The above image is courtesy of Art from my soul
When I awoke, the sun had begun to set and Ahmed wasn’t back yet. An uneasy feeling in the way only a seven year old could explain come to my mind, and I had racing thoughts of Ma and Baba. The events of the afternoon felt unreal and the thought of home clouded my judgement. In that moment, I forgot everything Ahmed told me and instead raced as fast as my legs could carry me towards the direction of home without glancing down.
As I got towards the main town gate, I stumbled; fell down and rolled over on things that felt like a mixture of cushion and wood. It was uncomfortable, not to add the skunky smell that filled the atmosphere. I managed to find my footing, stood up and took a look at the mattressy-wooden thing that I had rolled over on. Staring at the sight in front of me, I shrieked and screamed. My legs were numb, my hands shivering, tears flooding- I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Lying beneath my feet, in front of me where hundreds of bodies, draped in white with patches of red all over. This couldn’t happen in reality, no, I was only dreaming. For the first time since I had left school, I looked up and around me. To my right and left, men and boys with blood stained clothes were dragging bodies and dumping them at the edge of the already huge pile. Women were gathered together a little away from me, in clusters, weeping, sobbing loudly. Some were on the floor and rolling in tears, others were sitting with hands constantly flared up. Some of the women were seated, with babies clutched to their breasts, a blank expression on their faces- a lot of the women, I recognized. It seemed nobody noticed the little girl in brown skirts and a white shirt, ruffled thick black hair, standing behind a pile of dead bodies, shivering in fear with tear stained face. Too many lives had been lost that day for the living to be noticed. Humanity was lost in Baga, and that wasn’t the only thing lost sadly.
Your mama was a strong woman,
She held down every force-
Reckoned it back with words so strong,
That males fell down in awe.
Your mother was so spirited,
It showed in every way-
She’d strut and speak with such passion,
All the crowds turn gay.
And so little girl, it’s always been
Your mama against the world-
But she didn’t care, her head up high-
She thwarted every thorn.
And when asked ‘why do you do that?’
She’d answer back and smile-
So my daughter can proudly say-
“My mama is a strong woman”
“I want to be like her”