(a poem by Amin George Forji)
Where should I go from here?
Even in this desert wilderness,
In the middle of nowhere.
Where no green grass ever grows,
Or water flows, even during the best season.
I am still pursued
By determined evil.
Men bent on drinking the blood of my race,
To the very last.
Ever since these forces invaded our lives
I have been on the run, constantly.
Seeing each new day by a narrow escape
From the horror of a death
That has consumed millions
Of my Darfur brothers and sisters.
With every day that passes,
The clouds darken here.
Three rainy seasons back
We enjoyed our harvests
The cattle grazed in the fields
And the children danced the bambuuru dance.
Then an epidemic of the highest magnitude
Rained down on the land.
Not of nature, but of man.
These were not alien invaders,
But rather those who should protect us.
And their claws are so so sharp
That even wild vipers have fled from the land.
A heart attack killed Daddy
When he heard that Mommy and my sister
Were raped by two dozen Janjaweed.
Brother died trying to save them
And was butchered like bush meat
For daring to challenge their fun.
Grandma and Grandpa were burned alive.
Bombs fired Uncle’s hut
In the middle of the night.
Today I stand alone in the middle of nowhere.
No longer able to shed tears because
There is no more water in my dry eyes.
I am just waiting for my own turn
To drown under the sword of Janjaweed.’
I cannot even remember the seasons.
The hawks and eagles
That flew past me in the mountains yesterday
Were so surprised and full of pity
That they delayed their journey.
They put their heads together on my behalf,
Wanting to lend me their wings
So I could fly away with them
To a safer world,
But it was not possible.
However, they comforted me by telling me that it’s Christmas.
Without them I was never going to know.
That Christmas still exists.
Santa, I remember you are the Father of Christmas.
I remember Christmas is your season
And you are forever who you are.
And you are going to every child
To give them a deserving smile.
Ever since the epidemic rained down on us in Darfur
I have not heard anything from you.
Have you erased Darfur from your world map?
Do you know I am in Darfur?
Tell me at least that you got my question.