Cry Child Cry

Posted on: 29th October 2013

We recently rediscovered this very powerful poem written by Night, one of Body & Soul’s first members and trustees. Night sadly died a number of years ago but her words continue to resonate and move us.

Cry child cry says the counsellor
at the support centre
Cry out the torments that
Pierce your heart, that weigh heavy on your head
That tear you apart

But does she know what I cry for when I cry?
Does she think I cry for the humiliation
of my shattered womanhood?
Do I even want to remember
when memories hurt so bad?
In them I see monsters, their manhood stretched,
reaching out to destroy
Perhaps she thinks it’s the torture
Or perhaps she thinks the tears that roll down my face
are for my fallen tribesmen?
Or that I cry for my fallen Uncles, Father, Mother or Brothers?
Does she really know what I cry for when I cry?

My head, my heart and my whole hurts
For my head is a forest of depressions
My heart a target of several spears
a severely wounded heart
I wonder can these wounds ever heal?

Cry child for it must have been hard for you
Cry it out says the counsellor
But can one know the bitterness of quinine unless
one has tasted the tablet?

Tell me brother should the “army” stand for “murderers?
Should belonging to a tribe mean condemnation to persecution?
Who said one could be held in jail without trial and
Who said standing up for one’s rights is a crime?
Tell me brother and save me from this madness
For long my mind has queried and wandered in search
But who can provide these answers?

Yet cry child cry says the counsellor
Cry for those that are dead
But death has lost its meaning
It has become a thing of the mind in and out of my sleep
Tell me brother have we not seen enough dictators and with it enough bloodshed?
Can we bear the cost of having another monster
the likes of Idi Amin and Hitler,
Nicolae Ceaucescu and Emperor Bokassa?

Country Men!
Chant not only Clans men! Tribesmen!
Remember your roots but do not sink the mother land
into the ground with it
Who said Acholis, the Langis, the Tesos, the Bagandas
and the Nyangkoles can not live side by side
in the interest of peace and for the sake of our motherland?

Cry child cry
Oh yes, I cry but is there a tear left to shed tomorrow?
Political refugees they call us
But do they really know?
Do they think it was easy?
Our departure from our motherland?
And our loved ones?
Tell me brother, was it easy for you?

Cry child cry
How I still cry
Yes, I still close my eyes as I did then
Reality so very harsh
My younger siblings
Hands stretched, begging not to be left
Yet it had to be
For the fear of death can be that strong

Cry child cry
And how, oh how, can we paint this picture
But cry?

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