Do you remember me?
Before our hands were ripped from each other, before I was forced to do things I only wanted to do to you; to kiss, to suck, to lick, to love. Do you remember me? When I screamed out your name over and over and over and over and over until I realized you were too far away from my voice and couldn’t hear my crying out for the war drums and the blood, for you to make them pay for what they did to us, the familiarity of your touch, and hope you don’t forget how much I love you.
I carried your child 9 months, hips widened; breasts grew large and tender as an abdomen grew heavy with our fruit. A child, a living piece of us, when finally born, drank only thrice from my breast when he was ripped from my arms, crying out for me, for you.
When we were at last freed from oppression only to find things weren’t easily changed. As the same men who ruled us before had more cause to kill us than before and I searched for you, sought you out cried your name again only this time it wasn’t so much as a blood curdling scream but a yell, at the top of my lungs. Hoping that now, now that we’re free you could hear it.
I moved north in search of a better life and justice, happiness and you,. But I found a son that looked so much like you I could have stopped breathing. He looked like home. All hair that was like wool and shoulders and back a small waist like you; fire, spirit, passion, voracity, vigor, strength, pride and pain such…immense pain lived inside of him and anger. I wept for him, and the boy he should have been, the mother he should have had and the father he should have known. I cried your name when I saw him, not like the scream of before or the yell; this was a cry from the heart of a woman who wanted to erase all hurt from a strong magnificent wounded boy/man.
A changed woman, used to be a warrior’s wife, now I’m a grandmother watching her children’s children, get on buses to Nairobi, Afmadow, Garissa and Mpeketoni to fight, to march, to risk their lives in the name of something we call patriotism or just basic human rights. I weep for them now because I realize they probably won’t make it back, and so I cling to them with all the might my tired arms can muster and I say your name, because I wish you were here, wish I could hear your voice in my ears again to tell me things will be okay, tell THEM they’ll be okay. I say your name again as if that alone will bring them comfort as they face angry crowds that hate them for what they represent.
I am old, I can’t remember you like I used to. Can’t remember your smell or your voice like I used to, I can’t even remember home like I used to. I remember though the soft breeze that did nothing against the scorching heat, the smell of pounded yams my mother used to make, and wait… I remember the man I am dancing through faded memories with as my mind drifts as it often does, to you before we were stolen. To you I was beautiful, and you were my dark prince. In my eyes, although you were just a farmer, you, my love were so much more to me. You were all hair that was like wool, and shoulders and back, small waist and fire, spirit, passion, voracity, vigor, strength, pride and love for me. I long for you again and this time, your name comes off my lips in a whisper… searching time and space for a love long ago stolen, and now with my last ounce of strength, and courage and breath and life I ask… DO YOU REMEMBER ME???
Do you remember me?