What is the price you would pay
for a physics exam?
How you gripe about busting tables
and serving customers.
Do you know the torment of escape?
Are you haunted by the last image
of your fear frozen peers watching
you disappear into the bush?
Do you know the guilt?
What terrors await those eyes
that watch you run.
Do you know of bittersweet return?
Looks of joy clouded over by regret
to return alone, with no hope to share?
The others could not follow,
their faces remain on the caravan of death,
burning through villages
traveling deep into the Sambisa forest,
the Nigerian game refuge,
not for wildlife
but for animals…snakes.
The Hawthorne trees are not reddened by their berries
but by the blood of children.
Their thorns protect dangerous ideologies
lurking in the recesses of spiritual righteousness.
Parents with machetes challenge insurgents
armed with warfare and terror.
Where are the forces?
Where is the strength of country and subject?
Would it fly in our House, 230 daughters?
Would we continue our silence,
under the blanket of ignorance and obsequiousness?