“Boko Haram Comes!”

“Boko Haram comes!”
“Boko Haram comes!”

Terrifying words
Screamed into the wind
Translate into reality
When shouted into cell phones.

Warnings received
And acted upon
By all who hear.
The villagers
Flee to the mountains
Hide themselves
In ancient caves
In tops of trees
Behind dense bushes.

The observers
Safe in the arms
Of Mother Nature
Watch from afar
As pickup trucks
Race toward the school
Where hundreds of girls
Have been abandoned
By their leaders
By the local police
By the government soldiers
Who fled at the sight
Of the raging riffraff.

The deserted
Huddle together
And fear death
From the rockets
The machine-gun fire
Outside their door
Or the hands
Of the jihad-crazed
Young men
Whose boots
Tramp the floors
Inside their quarters.

Why has no one
Led the girls
To safety?
Why has no one
Remained
To protect them?

Is it because
The escapees know
That the hordes
Of frenzied invaders
Are there to muzzle
These girls
These educated
Free-thinking
Women-to-be
Who themselves
May not want to follow
Ten paces behind
Their men
Who themselves
May not want to hide
Behind the burka
Who themselves
May not want to remain
Silent
In the presence of men?

Do the rabid
Religious zealots
Think that enslaving
These awakening spirits
Will deaden forever
The hope for equality
That education
Has instilled in them?

Do these malcontents
Feed their fires
With delusions
Of physical
And intellectual
Male dominance?

Far worse
Than the treatment
The girls may have received
At the hands
Of their abductors
Is the knowledge
They must live with
Forever:
That the ones
Who take a stand on
The educated
Female future
Of their country
Are the ones
Who want to
Eradicate the learned.

The fate
Of the girls
Is unknown.
Are they slaves
Forced to toil
For barbarians?
Are they
Coerced concubines
Or polygamous wives
Of abusive thugs?
Are they corpses?
Deteriorating skeletal remains
Of would-be
Biochemists?
Nurses?
Economists?
Are they still
Women
Destined
To urge
Their backward country
Into the present
And then forward
To the future?

How long can
The kidnapped
Survive
Before their
Purloined spirits
Fade
Into subservience?

Governing leaders talk
As their inaction
Sanctions the brutality
Of rampant terrorism
Flaunting the flag
Of religious zeal.

We the outsiders
The free-for-the-moment
Watch as this horror
Flourishes
In pockets across our planet.

How long
Before we withdraw
And hide behind
The blanket
Of fear?

How long
Before we see
History repeat itself
And those pockets
Of Dark Age suppression
Connect
And cover
The globe.

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This entry was posted in Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to “Boko Haram Comes!”

  1. billgncs says:

    VB – I hope the take the leader’s head and stick it on a pike outside the main road – and that the wind whistles Boko through his bones.

    I do hope they rescue those girls.

    • vbholmes says:

      I agree, Bill! With eight additional girls kidnapped on Sunday, the government’s lack of response is emboldening the Boko Haram. The mass kidnapping of 200 schoolgirls reminds one of the atrocities committed by the infamous slavers centuries ago.

      • billgncs says:

        yes, culturally – those men behave like they were living a thousand years in the past. They will only understand force. That will restrain them, and hopefully educated wives and daughters will civilize them.

      • vbholmes says:

        An article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal carried this quote: “The troops are not well equipped. They’re even rationing ammunition,” said a Nigerian security adviser. He said soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the north of the country had been told to only fire single shots or short bursts to conserve bullets.”
        No wonder soldiers refuse to stand against the Boko Haram. 1500 people killed this year.

  2. A poem to be screamed above the sounds of horror.

    • vbholmes says:

      And there must have been screams of horror, Carl–first from the girls; then from their loved ones. And the ongoing emotional outbursts resulting from the feelings of helplessness that surround their families. Truly a horror story.

  3. wow!!! This poem rages like thunder and inspiration!

    I love it! 🙂

  4. vbholmes says:

    Many thanks, Charlie–“rage” surely describes our reaction to stories like this, and to the governing forces’ blatant inability, or refusal, to take action. A tragic situation.

  5. Well done, vb. this is heinous and a large number of boys were killed at an earlier time as well as hundreds since. I hope they can find and kill these barbarians.

    janet

    • vbholmes says:

      From what we read, it sounds like the government has knowingly failed to restrain the Boko Haram. Hopefully, now that there is international outrage over the kidnapping, government officials will be forced to adequately arm their soldiers and aggressively take action. We’ll see.

  6. Eric Alagan says:

    Good one VB

    This is an outrage and surprised that many of the so called moderates are loud in their silence.

    Peace,
    Eric

  7. vbholmes says:

    Thanks, Eric. It sounds like the Nigerian governing leaders have knowingly allowed the Boko Haram to spread their terror unhampered. Hopefully, now that the situation is known world-wide, they will be forced to accept outside help and to fight back whether they want to or not.

  8. Once again, we see political corruption, fear of Boko Haram, and failure to be human dictate a do nothing attitude. Unfortunately, too many think that girls are expendable, especially those that want an education. I just finished reading, I am Malala, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for speaking out about education for girls. Your words are chilling, VB.

  9. vbholmes says:

    So true, Lynne. Are you running into situations like this during your current travels? I’ve enjoyed looking at pictures of, and reading about, the havelis and their gorgeous frescoes. I’m looking forward to other posts of your adventures (and will put I am Malala on my to-be-read list). Thanks.

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