Sunday, February 7, 2010

African Grief

Oh Mama Africa, why do you forsake me?
Years ago I escaped from the wrath of war,
Not blaming you, but still under your eyeful watch.
Open wounds and wasted souls that I saw
Relentless fear persuaded me to flee.
Not knowing where to go, I hastened to follow the crowd.
Dodging bullets and bazookas,
I rested my bones on a land far away,
Picking up the pieces of what I have lost.
I called America my new home,
Yearning for freedom to breathe free
I embraced the peace I never knew,
Yet, the pain and the horrors I ran from yesterday
Followed me thousands of miles
Far from the suffering of your people.
This kept me awake, with heaving sighs,
I roll and toss and cannot sleep.
Every where I look, I am dismayed and disgusted.
The screams of young virgins raped,
Mass killings and scattered bodies everywhere.
The smell of burning homes and sight of spilled blood.
Starving babies suckling their dead mothers’ breasts;
Their worn- out tiny bodies inflicting more pain on me.
Hungry vultures feasting on fleshless bones,
Hollow faces absent of human shape
Losing my sanity, losing my mind, I thought.

Oh Mama Africa, why do you forsake me?
Your abundant wealth never reaches those in need.
You are so rich yet your children die in poverty and starvation.
There is sorrow in your eyes, hopelessly trying to heal the sick with your magic gaze.
I feel your pain, the ravages of war inflicted upon you.
Those you have raised have brought you shame;
Beautiful cities become ashes and dust,
The plentiful land I knew is gone and dry.
I see no life trace any where,
Peace I once knew I know no more.
Deliver me from despair and show me hope.
Raise your righteous sword and show your bravery once again.
Save us from warlords, gangsters, dictators and thieves,
Break down the prison gates and free your sons and daughters from the chains of oppression,
Smash this modern slavery your people must endure.

Oh Mama Africa, why do you forsake me?
Show your pride and toss away the veil of shame.
Walk gracefully and proudly among the nations as before.
Hold up your head and show your dignity once again
Give your old drums a new beat and show me your old moves
Dance like a free bird and don’t be shy
Shake your giant mountains and shout across your mighty land for peace and justice.

Oh Mama Africa, why do you forsake me?
My youth was taken away,
I lost the glory of yester year; no more is there a bright future.
Who can heal the agony and the pain I feel inside?
Home is where the heart and my dreams are.
I sit far away at Baltimore Harbor to watch ships roll away.
I never sought to cross the salty Atlantic, but fate spares no one
I want my soul to fly away to see you one more time,
I gaze down in deep solitude, dreaming of your giant hug when I arrive home.

Oh Mama Africa why do you forsake me?
I miss your blue sky and tropical sunshine,
Roaring oceans and tumbling rivers.
Thirsty for your fresh spring waters that roar from your giant belly.
My soul yearns for your mystic spirit.
Show me your magic smile and take my sadness away.
Touch me with your kind hands and take my pain away,
Wipe away my tears with your gentle hands
Let me dance and give us all hope.

Farah M. Mohamed
Copyright ©2009

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