Moving North

On a calm summer morning,

He scuttled to my bed and hurriedly patted me.
The moment came like a dream as his cold voice echoed in my ears:
“Boy I am living town”
He repeated it but this time, instead of betrayal in the voice, it came stolid:
“I am going for good;
And please take care of my family.”

From that moment, I understood that I need not ask him again,
Because I knew that that day was his turn;
He is to move to the North, like many others; the North where heads could be spared of the solemn brutalities – tortures; unjustified detentions; imprisonments; and public embarrassment.

I knew he was moving,
Without even saying the final goodbye to his kids
I knew he was leaving, so as to safe what is left of his precious life.

But at least he tried,
At least he informed one person close to him,
At least I was told of his ordeal;
Unlike the others who hastily left in the dark nights,
Nights when even the stars are hidden away from their view;
They left without living their families under anyone’s care.

And they all left for the North
They left without any explanation, but this, we all know why;
Because the home we all knew before is like a denuded coastline.

They all left because they hope that the sun will once more shine on our land
And on that day, everyone will bask under its glittering smiles;
They will all be back that day
To the place where their umbilical cords were buried.

But at the moment
Leaving is the only choice
Not that they are cowards for moving North,
But that the last heads need to be saved for the future.

And here, here I am today narrating his case
But maybe the next to scuttle away might be me
And that day I will also follow the winds to the North and another djali will be born.


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