When I first saw her,

I prayed never to see her again,

She transforms me into a mad person,

She is the stamp on the envelop that sends us all to hell,

She is the icon of our indignity,

The gauge of humanity devoid of any humanness,

She stands for everything we should not have become!

Victimized by victims of systems of degradation.

 

When I first saw her,

I was a broken rag doll,

Crawling on all fours,

Torn,

Broken,

Animalized,

Crawling from the thicket where they had abandoned me,

After hours or days of feasting on my innocence,

After attacking the core of my dignity and self respect,

Leaving me to lie in a stupor for days unknown,

Compromised, Uncomprehending, Unbelieving,

With legs that were not legs

A body dirtified beyond describe,

 

Yet……..

One has to wake up from a stupor,

One has to live, if alive.

Even when longing for death, one is alive.

 

When I first saw her,

She was whimpering in a bush near by,

She was cursing humanity,

She was cursing the sun that had risen on the day of her birth,

She was cursing the all of us,

She was cursing whatever made her a woman,

She was tearing madly at the torn up flesh of her womanhood,

Tearing madly with bloodied hands at her hair and breasts,

Cussing and damning to hell the age mates  of her grandsons,

Who had dragged her into the bush,

Who had stolen the honour of her twilight,

 

When I first saw her,

I forgot my pain and suffering,

I felt guilty.

All around us, the villages burnt on,

Our families died on,

The crowds surged on,

Looted on,

Killed on,

Maimed on………

Because we had elected new leaders.

 

When I next saw her,

Five years down the line of life,

I was lying on my back

On a hospital bed,

Metal grids poking out of both my legs like transmission masts,

They hung from the ceiling in a pulley system,

Broken,

My face swathed in bandages,

A victim of a terror attack on the streets of the city.

And she………

She was on television.

An internally displaced person.

Dirty old clothes,

Streams of tears down her cheeks,

Sunken cheeks on a deathly emaciated face,

Addressing her prayer to the immaculately dressed reporter,

 

In my heart,

I hugged her all over again,

My tears flowed with hers,

I silently cautioned her not to waste her breath,

I did not want to look at her,

I felt guilty and looked away.

When I looked back,

Her place on the screen was taken,

By the chubby cheeked leader we had elected,

Sitting at a round table with others we had not wanted,

Mineral water bottles reflected distinguished imported labels,

Much like the labels on their tuxedo sleeves,

 

And they talked development,

They talked national security,

They talked war against terror

Most importantly, they talked housing the IDPs……………………………

 

When I next see her again, Dear God,

Let it be in your heaven,

In your system of politics,

Let her be elderly and dignified,

Let our leaders be seated around her learning ways of old,

Let her not be ragged,

Let her hollow cheeks be rounded.

Let her be dressed in the glamour of our nationality,

Let my legs be able to walk,

To dance with the crowds in celebrations of action led systems,

Let our dignity be in place,

Let our wounds be healed.

Just let it……

Just…

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