A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Into Newton’s laws of motion Boko Haram
storms, rifles smoking, kidnap 276 girls, force them
onto truck beds, tires raising red dust as they drive north.
The girls want to be teachers, nurses, doctors,
were taking the physics test to enter college.
How to tend goats, grind sorghum, they know,
want more. In Sambisa Forest the soldiers
hold the girls, sell them as slaves for the bride
price of $12, kill them if they refuse. In the first week
57 escape, 4 die, 219 sit cross-legged in heavy burkas.
They sleep with rattlesnakes & scorpions, drink
thin soup, watch, dread-filled, as other girls
are dragged into the bush, dreams dry as the dust
blowing in their eyes. Three years pass.
The government frees 21 girls, then 82 more.
After thin soup, rattlesnakes, rape, what remains?
And 113 girls still missing.
Copyright 2018 Susan Sailer