“Did they just forget?” by Kariuki wa Nyamu

Did they just forget?

Back in the country as the requiem mass was ongoing the bereaved, utterly blanketed with grief stark misery in their eyes cursing the three-decade-plus regime bitterness welling up as the vicar was pronouncing coldly “dust to dust” (cry, our much-loved country) and far away, in the land of impala the executers, seated in the comfort of five-star hotel

were enjoying lip-smacking nyama choma,

cold Guinness in the company of hot babes drinking a toast to a mission well-executed but, did they just forget

that the lives of the nonconforming ones matter?

Hmm, did they just forget, that each of the slain, detained and crippled royal guards, had children to school, invalid parents to medicate and big life dreams to attain

for our motherland?

Well, I’m just here wondering when they set out to massacre them miles and miles past Mityana did they realize that the ones they slew were more patriotic than those who call the House of State home? (How? You may ask) But, don’t you see civilians fighting for lawful ideologies and hearing? Fighting absolutism? Saying NO to a Banana republic or did you just forget that those who call House of State home remain mum as the cancer of corruption, despotism and partiality eat away a

once healthy nation?

Our people, I’ll ask once more and don’t say I’m just politicking! For I’m in no doubt that this verse isn’t about the party one is affiliated to

but about how to handle dissenting voices!

But our people, did they really forget and now they’re wondering how they can undo this history Sorry, I mean His story that has turned a mystery? Dissenting voices in the capital! Dissenting voices in the party! Dissenting voices in parliament! Dissenting voices in the villages! Dissenting voices that may lead to a

revolution some day.

Kariuki wa Nyamu, a passionate Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor, translator and high school teacher, earned a Bachelor’s in English, Literature and Education from Makerere University, Uganda. His poems won The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) Literary Awards ‒ 2007 and in 2010, while in third-year, he won Makerere University Creative Writing in the Contemporary World Competition for the best collection of poems. He is published widely both in print and online, in anthologies such as A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, Africanization versus Americanization: Volume 1, Africa Vs North America Anthology, Writing on Language, Culture and Development: Volume 1, Africa Vs Asia Anthology, The Mamba Journal for African Haiku: Issue IV, besides co-authoring a Children’s poetry and short story anthology titled When Children Dare to Dream. He emerged the overall winner of Babishai Niwe 2017 Haiku Prize. He is presently pursuing a Master’s in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.

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