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Into the Bosom of Kyegu

Thursday, Apr 22, 2010
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(Am not a poet by any means, but to cope with the internal hurting, this was how the words tumbled out; hope the lines provide you some calm too)

How we had trusted it:
to help steady our balance, to remember after we had walked two steps
the faces on our feet
it: a song to our music; us: a music to its song
a handful of air, a word’s measure of time, at the most, separating us
when we walked, two paces, or more

A mother’s love would have its reproach, when we erred
forgot to fetch water from the well, left for burning the morning tea
but uncomplaining it was, forgiving before we yelped
even when we crushed underneath our soles
the tulips, the quivering stalks
as we bolted into the open fields, chasing butterflies
each other

We had never worried: sitting, standing, sleeping
if it felt our weight too much, if it hurt
we never bothered to ask if we should move
so it could turn around, showing us the other cheek on its bum

Wet, when rain had come down, it licked at our shoes
followed us home, settled as if it belonged, which it did
when hard, when we fell, it bristled against our scalps, left blood
which mother would quiet down, by scooping up in her hands
some of its loosened cousins, with which to dab on our heads
as if it would cry, if she hadn’t

Through the dark alleys, in our grown up years, it had led us by its hands
pointed fingers to where it was safe
when we had bolted again, to flee gleaming batons, the hands that clutched them
dark dungeons with their chains, the years unlived upon years
cold bullets making warm our heads, turning cold our limbs
not because we had done anything wrong
but because, and just because
we had called it by its name, given it a face we knew
a face it had known all along to be its own
lest it was we who had forgotten

It had held our secrets, nursed in its bosom our dreams
Kept us, with its bounty, from starving; made fat our animals
looked over them, as it did us; remembered, listened, it danced to our songs
made us forget those tears in our hearts
pushed them back into our eyes
its thereness was as sure as its hereness, unchanging too
was its promise: to never leave, when most everyone had seemed to be leaving
or had left

How we had trusted it:
to not to betray us
because we had loved it so much, because we had only each other
cheek to cheek, anguished souls together
Standing close, so the dark clouds would one day part
to let in the light, our Sun from the distant land

How we had trusted it?

But had it not trusted us back:
that it gave away, opened wide its mouth, bared its teeth
pulling down our homes to which it had followed
breaking beams, our ribs, collapsing walls, stopping hearts
killing mothers holding close their children, unbelieving
thousands upon thousands upon thousands, fathers, daughters, friends, neighbors
finally without shame when naked
unscreaming when flung across iron bars, over pits deep with fire
rendered without names, just numbers, that too: swindled
as had been our lives, a little short on all sides
a little sorry on all counts

It has made itself strange now, unrecognizable its own face now
but we are many still who walk upon it, who will call it by its name
make it remember its face, tell it:
how we were one: cheek to cheek, how we are one
anguished souls together

Tomorrow, we will bolt again, into the open fields
through the dark alleys, grasping its fingers, safe in its forgiving
Our friend, our guide, our mother, it will be:
the one with lives more than one:
our own beloved Kyegu!

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