#80. Garissa’s Diary in the Dark

Kenya mourns Whole Woman Network

Dear Diary,

Today I visit you in the dark

I cannot write under the sunlight

Of my once safe citadel of learning

They come to rape the innocence of life

They defile the sacred walls and halls within

Their shots sent me scurrying away

Into the space where reality suspends

Here, here, the game we play is hide and seek

The monsters come, come to seek, seek me

I hide, I hide, away from my stories and dreams

Folded over in defeat in this dark space

Let me inside the closet that I may time travel

Through these caged portals like Dr Who

My time machine has a wooden frame

This closed-in closet so black, bleak and grey

Small, tight; a perfect fit for my clothes,

Ill-fitting for my fear-filled form

The closet is musky, scented with dusts of despair

Too small to dare to hold the bigness of my fear

The fear finds its way to my stomach and churns

And it rises up to my throat and spills in vomit

The fear pools in hot liquid between my thighs

And suddenly, it crystallizes into potent peace and power

I am floating away; I will not go without a fight,

Before they take me, let me pen a verse or two

I cannot see my entry, in this dark place void of light

I pray, I pray softly to a God I’d long forgotten

And slowly, slowly my soul guides the words

Before they get me, I would spill their secrets

Describe their masked faces, they who fear the light

Tell the world that I won the battle in the end

I have put down on paper what happened

In the finest and clearest detail

They may take my life but still they fail

To kill the story and dreams I hold within,

Dear Diary, tell beautiful mama Kenya to mourn only a while

Soothe her; tell her, her baby girl went away with a smile

Dancing with angels, a sacred dance of hide and seek.

Now the enemies hide, defeated in their masked prisons of hate

I seek, I seek, I find pieces of me alight with hope and faith

Dear Diary, tell mama Kenya to stand up tall and fight

that the flames of her fires of unity and love burn bright

Read my stories to Nairobi, my beloved little sister

Tell her I’ll watch over her from the heavens afar.

© Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido
(All rights reserved).

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